Startups

An immersive gaming experience from Tough Mudder’s founders is coming to Ballston Quarter

The location, featuring private pods for groups to game in, is scheduled to open in March.

An Electric Gamebox location in London.

(Photo via @electricgamebox on Twitter)

As of next month, Arlington, Virginia is getting a new gaming experience at the Ballston Quarter shopping mall.

In March, UK-based Electric Gamebox is opening a new location in NoVa, its first in the area. Electric Gamebox hosts an immersive gaming experience where players can step into private “pods” to play games in 15- to 60-minute intervals. The Arlington location is one of five opening following an $11 million raise from the gaming company.

The pods are designed for two to six players to compete in digital smart rooms. Using a mix of projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking and surround sound, Electric Gamebox tries to “reinvent how we play video games” by allowing players to use their whole bodies in a 3D experience. So far, it’s got games featuring characters like Shaun the Sheep and others that let you save Queen Elizabeth’s beloved corgis. New games are designed in-house and also dropped regularly.

According to the permit, the Arlington location will be 2,000-plus square feet of space on the second floor of Ballston Quarter. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the official opening date, but its website lists the NoVa location opening in March. ARLnow reported that the space was selected through an existing partnership the company had with commercial real estate company Brookfield Properties, which owns Ballston.

Alongside Arlington, Electric Gamebox will also be opening spots in Denver and Victoria Gardens in California. It also recently opened spots in Chicago, Salt Lake City, and a suburb of Houston. Cofounders Will Dean and David Spindler — who are also the faces behind the Tough Mudder obstacle race — are pushing forward with the US expansion after their funding success. The $11 million raised last June, led by Philian Invest, is being put toward new locations in the US and UK. The company has plans to add 100 new spots by 2024 and 1,000 by 2026.

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