iQIYI Expands Offline VR Immersive Theater into the Historic City of Xi’an, Merging IP, Technology, and Cultural Tourism

BEIJING, March 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI, an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, recently launched its latest Virtual Reality (VR) immersive theater in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Drawing upon its blockbuster original IP Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty 2: To the West, the VR theater quickly became a highlight in the city during the Chinese New Year holiday, serving as a testament to iQIYI’s prowess in transforming popular IPs into offline sensations.

The original thriller, Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty 2: To the West, unfolds in Chang’an (now Xi’an), the ancient imperial capital of the Tang Dynasty. The drama revolves around an experienced commander and an Imperial Guard General as they navigate a series of mysterious cases, each packed with unexpected twists and a suspenseful plot.

Poster of VR immersive theater ‘Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty 2: To the West’

The VR adaptation is a collaborative creation by iQIYI DREAMVERSE Studio and its partners, immersing visitors in ancient Chang’an through a historical reception, live-action performances in Tang Dynasty attire, and a VR zone powered by motion simulation and spatial audio technologies. The reception area creates an authentic Chang’an street atmosphere, while the live experience area uses film-level set design and non-player characters in Tang Dynasty costumes to immerse the audience in the story. The VR experience area offers a 1:1 reproduction of the real-life scenes, allowing players to explore the virtual world freely with just a VR headset.

The innovative combination of captivating content and cutting-edge VR technology has not only garnered rave reviews but also secured a top-three position on the VR sales chart in Xi’an on Dianping, China’s leading review and rating platform.

“Technology is the core driving force of iQIYI, and we are committed to exploring the new frontiers it presents,” said Hang ZHANG, Senior Vice President of iQIYI. “Creating an amalgamation of IP, technology and cultural tourism in a modern and youthful way is the direction for the development of offline immersive entertainment.”

This project represents iQIYI’s second foray into the realm of “Real Scenery + VR” immersive theater, drawing inspiration from China’s rich historical heritage and captivating oriental aesthetics. It follows the success of the previous Luoyang VR project, which is set in another famous ancient capital city and has been a consistent leader in popularity, sales, and customer satisfaction on Dianping since its official debut in Shanghai in June last year. With the new venture, iQIYI continues to refine its innovative IP-based business model and integration of culture and tourism elements, promising even greater commercial success.

Furthermore, the offline VR experience has synergistically boosted the online viewership of the associated drama series, demonstrating a unique, reciprocal operation model. Data from iQIYI Research Institute reveals a significant 11.2% sequential increase in viewing time for Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty during the Chinese New Year holiday.

Visitor feedback on rating platforms has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing that the “immersive feeling” was the project’s most significant feature. Encouraged by the success of its immersive VR projects, iQIYI is determined to expand the launch of immersive experiences across cities in China and beyond.