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Gym Class partners with NBA to add official courts and gear to VR basketball app

Developers promise an immersive, social basketball experience using VR tech.

10 February 2023 Steve McCaskill
Gym Class VR NBA

Gym Class VR

  • Gym Class VR has 1m players
  • NBA deal set to deepen sense of realism

Virtual reality (VR) basketball application Gym Class VR has secured a licensing deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) that will allow users to play on team-branded courts and adorn their avatars with official digital apparel and accessories.

Gym Class VR launched in 2021 and promises an immersive, social basketball experience powered by Meta’s Oculus Quest platform.

Users create a customisable avatar to compete in drills and competitive games with other players, while there are a range of community features such as the ability to compare match statistics.

The game’s physics and motion-based mechanics, including shooting, jumping and sprinting, are all based on real physical movements tracked by the Meta Quest hardware. This heightens the degree of immersion and also offers some exercise.

The partnership means users will be able to purchase an ‘NBA Bundle’ that includes a digital recreation of their favourite team’s court, along with official gear and game ball. The idea is that official NBA branding will deepen the sense of realism, enhance engagement and drive revenue.

“NBA fans will be able to feel what it’s like to step onto their favorite team’s court with their friends,” said Paul Katsen, co-founder and chief product officer at Gym Class. 

“We’re excited about this relationship with the NBA and our shared vision of connecting fans through the game of basketball.”

“Our collaboration with Gym Class will provide our fans with a new way to express their NBA fandom and connect with each other,” added Adrienne O’Keeffe, head of digital consumer products at the NBA.

“We look forward to NBA fans fully immersing themselves through this innovative gaming experience.”

Gym Class VR claims to be the most-popular VR basketball application with more than one million downloads. It offers a free-to-play experience as well as a ‘Gym Class Pro’ tier which features premium content such as customisable private courts.

To date, Gym Class VR has raised US$9 million with investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures.

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