Premiering on October 8, entertainment studio BlackBox TV is releasing a short-form series exclusive to Meta Quest TV and in Meta Horizon Worlds with the Meta Quest 2 headset. The 360° VR experience “Scream Park” takes users on a virtual reality horror rollercoaster ride just in time for spooky season.
Meta Quest TV is the VR home for VR headsets Meta Quest and Meta Quest 2. Users need a Meta Quest 2 device to view “Scream Park.” In August, Meta hiked the price of Quest 2 from $299.99 to $399.99 because of high production costs.
Each episode will be seven minutes long and includes “active ride scenes,” which involve flashing lights, going inside the mouth of a creepy clown, as well as winding turns and spins that admittedly made us a little nauseous. A warning before every episode states it’s not suitable for photosensitive viewers.
At launch, the first four episodes will be released. The remaining four episodes will roll out throughout the fall.
Unlike the new slate of games arriving in Quest 2, such as “Ghostbusters,” “Among Us” and “Red Matter 2,” BlackBox TV’s eight-episode series is designed to give users non-interactive 360° VR entertainment that blends live- action into a CGI world.
“The team is using VR gaming technology to build out a dark, complex, yet relatable story in the cinematic space,” producer Tru Collins said in a statement. “The eye is a physical extension of the central nervous system, so when the visual effects of 360° VR meet the emotional connection to the story, it hits the viscera in a way that 2D entertainment just can’t.”
The company claimed that the video is “new for Meta” and “to our knowledge, is one of the first of its kind merging live action into a CGI world (most content does the reverse), and an immersive story/ride that is outside of the gaming universe, and feels more real than a 2D series,” BlackBox TV told TechCrunch.
“With ‘Scream Park,’ we are not looking to replicate reality in VR; we’re creating an experience you can’t find anywhere else,” said creator and director Tony E. Valenzuela.
While there are roller coaster games for Meta Quest devices, “Scream Park” is a narrative storytelling video with characters acting as if speaking directly to the viewer.
The exclusive series for Meta Quest 2 also stars a familiar face from the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things.” Grace Van Dien — who played Chrissy, the possessed cheerleader in “Stranger Things” — will star as Kelly Q in “Scream Park,” who is trapped and needs to be rescued before the sun rises. The other live-action character in the series is “American Horror Story” star Zach Villa as Will.
CGI characters like the Robot will be voiced by Monique Coleman, who starred in Disney’s “High School Musical.” Online personality and singer Steve Zaragoza will be the voice of the antagonist, Toby Terrific.
“Scream Park” is a continuation of BlackBox TV’s “Enter Scream Park,” which premiered on its YouTube channel in 2021 and currently has more than 680,660 views. The channel has 1.1 million subscribers. BlackBox TV claimed that due to the video’s success, the horror/sci-fi studio decided to build out an entire series for the world of “Scream Park.”
“We’re thrilled to be continuing our journey into ‘Scream Park’ with our new series and thankful for Meta’s continued support,” Valenzuela added.
BlackBox TV specializes in VR/360° experiences and was founded by filmmaker Valenzuela. The studio has released various other series to Meta Quest, such as “Before Scream Park,” “Enter Scream Park,” “Alan Wake in VR,” “The Monster Challenge,” “Freddy Krueger,” “Lights Out,” “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” and more.
The announcement of the 360° VR series comes ahead of Meta’s annual conference, Meta Connect, which occurs next Tuesday, October 11. The conference will include announcements of “major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his Instagram caption as a response to the cringy selfie of his avatar.
Horizon Worlds has experienced so many performance issues that not even Meta employees will use it, The Verge recently reported.