Just at the start of this year, there were very small number of virtual reality game-makers that straddled market for location-based gaming.
From the California based Survios to the Los Angeles based Two Bit Circus, there are a hoard of reality game makers foraying into the virtual world thanks to the demand from the consumers which seems to be increasing every day.
While Survios focuses on virtual arcades across the world cities including New York, Tokyo, Seoul and Dubai; other virtual reality based companies like Lindon and Two Bit Circus are focusing more on providing the users with authentic game experiences that offer a different kind of approach to the virtual reality.
All this increase in virtual reality and the multi-million dollar bets placed on the viability of virtual reality is supposedly due to the increase in the sales of head-mounted displays in the last year and a projected growth continuously over the next few years. According to technology market analyst firm Canalys, expected sales for head-mounted displays for this year will surpass 1.5 million. In 2017 alone, more than 10 million units of gaming consoles were sold in the U.S. alone and in 2008 – which was the peak time for the market – the numbers were as high as 32 million.
But what are the benefits of this location-based experiences to make the market grow so big over a course of few years. The reason behind this seems to be the cost of the systems. As most of the premium gaming systems cost very high, the very reason prohibits many households in the U.S. from getting their hands on the gear until the costs further come down and these out-of-game experiences are offering the best way to many consumers to get comfortable with the latest tech.
Other compelling factors for the consumers include the ability such devices offer access to climatic quality production values, and the physical space built specifically for promoting immersive game play. They also allow the customers to create a mobile gaming experience that is truly creative.
According to Nancy Bennett, Chief Creative Officer at Two Bit Circus, VR is a medium that gives the users an embodiment and this is the very differentiator compared to other mediums. Bennett further says that from motion floors that will simulate the ability to walk around a space to haptic platforms, VR will offer a range of location based experiences for the users and will be a more immersive platform with more interesting narratives.
As the gaming console market is shrinking, analysts forecast that the VR industry will sell around 10 million units by 2021 while the numbers for standalone virtual reality headsets will be around 7.6 million units by the end of this year.