The owner of one new destination gaming venue has spoken of how the next six months will simply be about “survival,” as he rushes to keep pace with the government’s scattered approach to Covid policy.
YJ Chen founded Hyper Reality in Bethnal Green, London, just last year – offering punters the chance to try the latest in VR and immersive gaming technology alongside more traditional arcade and console gaming experiences.
But despite instituting a new 10-step safety plan (including temperature checks and new cleaning measures) and being exempt from the pub curfew, Chen reports that only a trickle of of pre-Covid footfall has returned to Hyper Reality’s gaming suites – forcing him to downsize his expectations for the year ahead.
“So far, we’re seeing a slow return of customers coming back into the venue though it has roughly halved our trade compared to more positive months,” he told the Morning Advertiser. “The next six months are still survival mode for us to be able to keep the doors open, continue trading, and continue to pay rent and salaries.”
Still, Chen remained optimistic with respect to the long-term demand for leisure and gaming sites amidst the pandemic.
“It will be challenging for us and for the industry,” he said. “But we remain positive that with the right protocols in place, we can continue to attract customers looking to escape the real world for half an hour or so.”