Fireshark Gaming expands from Wichita to Omaha
The unique immersive gaming platform has arrived at The Mark in Omaha, Nebraska. Fireshark Gaming launched in April 2015 as a standalone entertainment space in Wichita, Kansas. Since then 25,000 visitors have tried out the system. “People get out of their house, get in a car, drive to our store, just to have a Fireshark…
The unique immersive gaming platform has arrived at The Mark in Omaha, Nebraska.
Fireshark Gaming launched in April 2015 as a standalone entertainment space in Wichita, Kansas. Since then 25,000 visitors have tried out the system.
“People get out of their house, get in a car, drive to our store, just to have a Fireshark experience,” said Jake Williams, General Manger. “That just goes to show that people see value in the experience.”
The company was started by Kent Johnson, an Iowa State University alum and serial entrepreneur. The new venture follows the sale of his most recent company, BoldChat, three years ago.
This summer Fireshark Gaming installed their first modular version of the platform at The Mark, a bowling alley and family entertainment center in Omaha.
Responding to customer needs
The new modular layout is more compact than the original system that launched in Wichita last year. The original platform used 6 PCs, 10 Android tablets and 18 projectors in a 32’x19′ room. Twelve players could walk all around the room and the action was projected on all four walls and the floor.
The Wichita location continues to function as a test lab. But, according to Jake, the new platform is where they see the largest growth potential.
“We’ve always thought of the product as something going in an existing venue like a family entertainment center, a movie theater, a bowling alley, things like that.”
They started pitching their product to businesses in Fall 2015.
“They really liked the product. They thought it was cool and different,” said Williams. “We had some hurdles though.”
Entertainment venues balked at the space requirements, electricity requirements and installation costs.
“We really listened to these people and went back to the drawing board,” said Williams.
Fireshark developed a more compact version of the platform–an 8’x20′ room with 4 projectors and 1 PC. A single outlet can run the entire room.
The display covers part of the floor, but players are more static than before. The upside is that they can now serve 16 players in the space, rather than just 12.
“We’ve always found the more players, the more fun,” said Williams.
The new modular unit construction can be set up in a day.
“We can have kids playing that night,” said Williams. “And if it doesn’t work out, I can move it to another location in a day.”
Watch a time-lapse version of the construction below:
“It’s a viable standalone business by itself,” said Williams. “They do a good job of selling themselves.”
Fireshark has their own mobile unit in Wichita that they have shown off at local fairs, festivals and birthday parties.
“It really shines when you have large group and you all want to do something together,” said Williams. “You can’t play Xbox on one screen with 16 people.”
Out of Wichita
Because the platform is internet-connected Fireshark can troubleshoot, add new features and new games to venues across the country from their Kansas headquarters.
“You install it once and get this never-ending flow of content,” said Williams.
The company is now looking for family entertainment centers nationwide that are looking for something different to attract customers.
“We’re at the stage where we will take anybody coast to coast that’s looking for an attraction,” said Williams.
Ryan Pendell is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.
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