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Shopping centre owner intu has partnered with events company HYPD to launch a new gaming arena at intu Lakeside.

HYPD, which runs gaming attractions at major UK tourist destinations, has transformed a 900 sq ft store into the immersive experience as part of an exclusive 12-month partnership with intu.

HYPD Arena will offer a celebration of all things gaming, including an eSports tournament, retro arcades and the latest in virtual reality. It will take place at intu Lakeside from 20 July until 31 August.

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The concept is then set to be rolled out at more of intu’s popular shopping destinations over the next year, capitalising on the rapidly growing eSports industry which is expected to be worth $1 billion this year.

Roger Binks, customer experience director at intu, said: “The gaming industry is experiencing explosive growth and popularity, making intu’s hugely popular, high footfall destinations the ideal locations for this kind of attraction.

“We’ve already invested millions to transform intu Lakeside into a major tourist destination for the south east and this is creating brilliant new opportunities for operators like HYPD who can offer even more compelling experiences for the increasing number of people visiting the centre.”

Chris Haydon, chief operating officer, HYPD said: “We are extremely excited to bring HYPD Arena to intu Lakeside this summer. With such a dynamic range of gameplay options for customers to enjoy, we believe this will be a huge hit and we cannot wait to share this amazing experience with our players. I’d very much like to thank intu for their continued support of this initiative. Together we can deliver a truly unforgettable attraction.”

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