LONDON, Thursday 29th June: Virgin Media O2 is opening the doors to Virgin Media Gamepad, a brand new, free to use space for gamers to play without limits and build their knowledge, housed in the world’s most popular live entertainment, leisure and retail destination, The O2.
Offering a seamless gaming experience, Virgin Media O2 customers and members of the public can enjoy gameplay powered by Virgin Media’s gigabit broadband, with state-of-the-art technology including 16 of the latest consoles and exclusive areas for live streaming and local multiplayer gaming with friends.
Gamepad was built from the ground-up with gamers in mind. Working alongside the renowned technology experts at Digital Foundry, Virgin Media O2 has ensured that Gamepad is the most cutting-edge gaming space available in the UK, complete with Elgato Facecams, Elgato Key Lights, Ultra Wide curved desktop monitors and Xbox Series X consoles and wireless controllers. The space also combines Virgin Media’s superior fixed connectivity with O2’s top mobile experience and enhances the presence of the Virgin Media brand at The O2 following the companies merging in June 2021.
Building on Virgin Media’s previous work within gaming, Gamepad is the company’s latest venture in supporting gamers, which in recent years has seen them provide customers with exclusive opportunities to play blockbuster titles including Destiny 2, before they launched, and sponsor the annual EGX gaming expo. With roughly 40% of the world’s population now gaming online and 88% of young adults (aged 16-24) playing video games1, Virgin Media will continue to offer exclusive opportunities, partnering with publishers and AAA games to provide unmissable experiences and unique benefits for avid gamers.
Virgin Media O2 created Gamepad with the ambition to make gaming even more inclusive and accessible. Not only is the space fully step-free and wheelchair-friendly throughout, the lighting can be adapted to meet a variety of sensory needs and the space will continue to be developed and enhanced to ensure it is inclusive and enjoyable for all. Another key tenet behind Gamepad is the desire to use the space to support the next generation of talent by giving them the opportunity to use professional-level facilities that will help them take their gaming to the next level.
Over the coming months, Virgin Media will work with leading content creators such as Outside Xbox, resident gamers at Gamepad, to deliver bespoke sessions to gamers looking to build their skills and expand their knowledge of streaming and gaming. Outside Xbox gamers will also stream twice a month from a dedicated streaming lounge in Gamepad – The Stage.
A world class gaming space, the Gamepad consists of three areas: The Playground, The Cave and The Stage, each with their own unique purpose of providing a space so gamers can enjoy in-person gaming with their friends, enhance their streaming skills and access professional equipment to build a career in gaming:
The Playground has 16 gaming pods and is equipped with Xbox Series X consoles, all equipped with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate that allow players to immerse themselves in hundreds of games for free across numerous AAA franchises.
The Cave offers an exclusive VIP gaming lounge for Virgin Media broadband and O2 customers to play as a squad with up to three friends and can be booked via the Priority app from Sunday, 2 July.
The Stage is a state-of-the-art streaming studio equipped with industry-leading technology and will house the very best gaming talent who, in partnership with Outside Xbox, will livestream from the dedicated space once a month, with access to watch live on their YouTube channel.
Gareth Griffiths, Director of Partnerships & Sponsorship at Virgin Media O2, said: “In recent years there’s been a real shift in gaming, with more people than ever coming together to play socially as well as in communities online, and what better place for the ultimate gaming experience than the world’s number one entertainment venue, The O2.
“We’re putting play, people and purpose at the heart of everything we do within gaming, creating a dedicated space that’s free for everyone to use, built with innovation and inclusivity at its core. We want to remove barriers for gamers, whether financial, physical or social, so they can play without limits and enjoy access to hundreds of games, all playable on the latest gaming consoles all powered by Virgin Media’s gigabit broadband.”
Virgin Media broadband and O2 customers visiting Gamepad at The O2 will be able to benefit from extra perks to take their gameplay to the next level with exclusive first play opportunities and access codes, as well as exclusive in-game treats and experiences available – all available exclusively via Priority.
Gamepad adds to the evolving day out offering at The O2, which alongside the world-famous arena, is also home to interactive bars TOCA Social and BOOM BATTLE BAR, London’s largest cinema – Cineworld, immersive dining experience Mamma Mia! The Party, over 30 bars and restaurants, and much more.
Virgin Media Gamepad is open every day of the week from 12pm to 8pm* and The Playground can be accessed by all for at least 20 minutes at a time. Priority members can prebook, or pending on availability, turn up for a 60-minute slot in The Cave.
*Virgin Media Gamepad is open 12pm–8pm every Monday–Saturday and 11am–7pm every Sunday
1 Uswitch Overview of UK online gaming statistics 2023