Bandai Namco has been using video games and virtual reality successfully in the field of amusement facilities for a while with VR Zone in Kabukicho, Tokyo, and now they’re at it again with another location named “Mazaria,” and this one is really interesting.
A few days ago, I was prowling the restaurant area of the Sunshine City complex in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, seeking for a good place to have dinner, and I came across something at the same time familiar and unfamiliar.
A whole area of the floor had been blocked off by white panels with the Bandai Namco logo, as you can see below.
As I read the sign in simple Japanese, my spider senses perked up as it described a facility opening in July promising a “New concept space entering the world of anime and games.”
The sign also encourages you to search the name, which brings up an official page including pretty much only the name and the ability to submit your application for a job.
I had to do some research and turns out that Bandai Namco itself hasn’t said much about it. The facility operated by the Bandai Namco Amusement arm is indeed supposed to open in July with the precise day still to be determined.
On top of letting you enter the world of games and anime, the concept is to mix real and virtual thanks to the use of VR and amusement devices combining the latest technology and the atmosphere of the location.
The name is coined from the Japanese verb “mazariau” which means “mixing” and expresses the idea of mixing the world of games and anime, and joining together with friends fighting together in the games.
At the moment, there is no further information at all. We don’t even know which games and anime we’ll be able to experience, but it’s likely that Bandai Namco will include the properties it has licenses for and its ongoing collaboration with Weekly Shounen Jump that gave birth to Jump Force.
We’ll probably know more soon since July isn’t far. I’ll be in Tokyo again in September, so you can certainly expect a full post-opening report. VR Zone is a blast (if slightly on the pricey side, but this kind of facility is never cheap in Japan), so I have high expectations for Mazaria.