Last week Warner Brothers Studios hosted an incredible three-day event that showcased the best of emerging technology from the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The curated, invitation-only event, billed as CES on the Lot, brought the most compelling tech from the Vegas mega-show to Los Angeles and featured AiSolve’s single-player VR arcade attraction WePlayVR.
AiSolve’s North America president Shauna Heller was on hand throughout the event and kicked off the showcase with an epic demo for Warner Brothers CEO and Chairman, Kevin Tsujihara. Shauna had Kevin experience ‘Alien Invasion,’ the second game title for the WePlayVR platform. Fresh from the experience, Shauna said: “I spend a great deal of my time focused on AiSolve’s serious games for VR training and simulation so it was fun to show off AiSolve’s lighter side, WePlayVR, to Mr Tsujihara. He got the gameplay quickly and I saw him smiling from behind the headset. As developers of puzzle-based VR adventures, that’s exactly the reaction we look for.”
CES on the Lot took place on the famous Stage 6 of the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, Ca. – a classic stage that’s nearly 100 years old and which has been used to film iconic movies such as Casablanca, Cool Hand Luke, Rebel Without a Cause and The Perfect Storm. But this time round it played host to immersive 21st century technology. Beyond AiSolve, other participants on the WB CES on the Lot event included Unity, Nvidia Intel, Microsoft and BMW plus several other VR developers.
The Warner Brothers Emerging Technology division, guided by entertainment technology experts Greg Gewicky, Annette Kasch, Mike Zinc, Bill Zajac and Vicky Colf, CTO of Warner Brothers, who oversees the Warner Brothers Emerging Technologies division, played host throughout the event. In addition, their own division had a demo booth on the stage to showcase their internal VR development for Warner properties like Blade Runner. The entire WB Emerging Tech team took incredible care of all the vendors showcasing on Stage 6 and Shauna was especially grateful for the thoughtful care shown to AiSolve because….
Day two found the AiSolve booth completely swamped with potential players who had heard that WePlayVR was ‘the thing’ to see and try at the event – if Warner staffers only had time to check-out one exhibit, they were pointed right at AiSolve’s location. That was pretty humbling news to hear and we ran demos non-stop all day Tuesday and Wednesday. So much so we had to go dark for 20 minutes on day two to let the batteries catch up with the demand. Further, we had to condense the gameplay time for each player just so we could get more people through.
Executives from across the Warner Brothers family were in attendance including the Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group; President, Worldwide Television Distribution; President, Domestic Distribution; EVP, Creative Affairs; SVP of Comedy; SVP of Drama; EVP, Visual Effects, plus execs from The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Johnny Galecki, star of the hit comedy series Big Bang Theory (an extra fave among us AiSolve techies).
It was a fun, fast-paced and over-before-you-blinked event that didn’t leave enough time for leisure strolls around the historic movie lot in Burbank. Still, it was impossible for the AiSolve team not to absorb the energy and legacy of Warner Brothers Studios and its global impact; how on that historic lot they ushered in an entire century of entertainment. Defined it, really.
Now, looking into 2018 we hope to carry on that legacy and usher in this next generation and define it again, but this time by experience. In parallel news, Burbank is also the new US headquarters for AiSolve. With a studio located at the heart of the animation and media corridor, close to entertainment giants Warner Brothers, Universal and Disney among others, AiSolve is settling in quite nicely.
The studio will act as a demonstration and sales office for the company’s gaming platform, WePlayVR, and will be used to host clients and partners from around the globe, from across both the entertainment and tech industries.