E3: VR EXPANSIONS

Written by Fred Bailey

07/06/2017

Since the unexpected closing of Oculus Story Studio earlier this year, some are questioning the future of VR. What kind of legs does it have? It seems to be stumbling at the moment.

But anyone attending the Electronic Entertainment Expo (a.k.a. E3) in Los Angeles in mid-June—the video game industry’s annual preview of things to come—would probably have had a different outlook: Virtual Reality is booming.

The Hollywood Reporter recently showed charts demonstrating that current VR revenue is primarily from gaming, pegging it at $281M in 2016, against $124M from video and a mere $16M from apps.

At E3, high profile game issuers like Sony and independent developers showcased dozens of VR titles, and many are expected to thrive. The reason is not difficult to perceive. Gamers love their games.  And doing them in VR gives them a feeling of total immersion.

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The next phase for developers is to move past the simple presence of VR and to try new tricks. Throw in some artificial intelligence, voice commands and eye-tracking technology, aiming for greater multi-player experiences.

In short, the game industry is on the crest of the VR wave and is the leader, with other entertainment business sectors following.

Nevertheless, the Hollywood Reporter’s projections go on to say that by 2021, VR video revenues will outstrip VR gaming, $3B against $2B.

No matter which way you cut it, that’s a huge market.  Looks like VR does have legs.