The article was originally published on Affinity VR by Anton Zaitsev.
Nowadays it’s difficult to find a person who’ve never heard anything about virtual reality. Someone is just beginning to learn about this world created by technical means, and someone’s completely immersed in it already. Whatever your attitude towards VR, the popularity of this technology is growing inexorably. Strategy Analytics research center predicted that by 2020, 38.9 million people will use VR devices.
According to Piper Jaffrey’s predictions , the increase of VR devices sales around the world will only grow – 500 million VR headsets are expected to be sold by 2025, while consoles are going to be put on the back. Moreover, in May this year the number of Steam users reached one billion .
As is known, Horizon – a huge and unified VR world with the possibility to create and change the environment and share it with other users was announced in late September by Facebook company :
To focus on the development of Horizon, Facebook is intended to close its existing social networks with VR (such as Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms) by 25th of October. People are going to switch to Facebook Horizon, and for that, they will still need VR headsets. Consequently, the launch of this virtual social sandbox will entail a massive purchase of VR devices and other products.
As in every business sphere, working with VR involves its own specific ways of development. Let’s have a closer look at what they can be:
1. Opening an online store or place.
If you are quite interested in marketing and you roughly understand how to sell and to whom, then this option will be optimal. Since the demand for VR products is growing every year, you’ll always have an offer for customers.
Without a doubt, to open your own store you need a decent budget: you need money to rent a room, and in the case of an online store you should create a proper website, spend time to develop a design, to hire assistants and managers. Keep in mind that the expenses will include the purchasing of goods.
People are currently more willing to purchase goods through online stores. The section with VR products is available at such large online stores as Walmart, Amazon, eBay.
At the start with a small initial budget you can first rent the equipment, and only after that buy your own to develop further in any direction you’d prefer.
The problem is that it’s impossible to predict exactly how successful your business is going to be and how soon it will pay off. Don’t forget about the force majeure circumstances, that’s why it’s better to sit down first and write a clear action plan for your business development; the more details you can work out, the less damage you can get if you fail.
2. VR content development
If you are an experienced VR user yourself and you have sufficient knowledge in this sphere, why not try your hand at creation of a VR content development company?
The only thing is that the competition in the market of VR experiences manufacturers is very strong at the moment. You need to adapt quickly to changing conditions, be able to monitor the new trends and at the same time trying to get ahead of your competitors by offering users a unique experience. Successful developers of LBE VR content are: The Void, Hologate, Avatarico, etc.
The most popular headsets for LBE:
Oculus VR, Inc
The company produces headsets, games and other VR equipment, offering users quality at reasonable prices while constantly improving. The most famous headsets include Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S. In 2019, the company sold 1.7 million devices.
HTC Vive offers users a VR headset for a wide variety of purposes, whether you are just a player (VIVE system), professional (VIVE Pro Starter Kit system) or you need it for business (VIVE Pro system). During this year, the company sold more than 800 thousand devices. HTC Vive Pro headset is especially popular, which is perfect for LBE. Other suitable for LBE headsets include Oculus Go and Oculus Rift S, PlayStation VR, as well as this year’s new Oculus Quest and Vive Focus.
3. Shooting of panoramic 360 videos for VR
You can become a VR content creator. One of these ways is VR video and panoramic shooting. The technology is very successfully used in business, some high-end real estate agencies offer clients 360° videos so that they can assess the layout of the apartments from all sides. There are many companies that are interested in using this technology: Samsung has published a 360 video on snowboarding, which puts viewers right in the center of events; BMW gives the audience the thrill of the race car riding (the video has more than 3.5 million views); George at Asda brand created the game in 360 panoramic video format.
4. Opening a VR or LB VR club.
This option is good if you have enough money in the budget. First of all, you need to concentrate on renting a suitable room/space, but also don’t forget about the next steps, such as marketing, advertising, finding a team of employees. As was the case with the equipment rent, you should write a development plan for your club, paying attention even to the smallest details. A clear goal will help you to develop your business successfully and move in the right direction.
In terms of profitability, LB VR wins since unlike individual experience, it allows several players to participate in the game simultaneously; it also has a high indicator of space efficiency (when you get the revenue per square meter). In addition, this experience is not intended for home use.
In the past few years, the location-based entertainment (LBE) market has been the main source of money for VR game developers. The most significant indicator for this can be the fact that many LB VR companies are constantly expanding and their income is growing from year to year. Successful LBE examples are Zero Latency, Hologate, Avatarico.
Zero Latency is one of the LBE companies that develops virtual reality experiences with free movement. They mainly offer survival games (such as Zombie Survival, Singularity, Outbreak Origins), which are designed for up to 8 players. The company is constantly expanding which only proves the profitability of this type of business.
Another successful example of LB VR is Hologate. The company offers off-the-shelf multimedia platforms for out-of-home entertainment and corporate use (up to 4 people can play simultaneously). By the end of 2019, Hologate plans to open more than 300 locations around the world, which will serve more than 5 million players a year.
Avatarico has been doing research in the field of virtual reality since 2012, in 2014 it implemented VR into the game and successfully returned its investments in just 6 months. In 2015, Avatarico developed the first of its kind multiplayer VR game, which now works in more than 60 cities of America, Europe and Asia. Their most famous games are: Cosmos, Mind Horror, Dracula and Alice in Wonderland: Crazy Clockwork. Moreover, Avatarico gets 25 square meters as a playground for a team of 6 players.
After all, virtual reality is becoming an indispensable technology in many spheres of people’s lives that involve not only entertainment, but also education, medicine, industry, science, sports and aviation. Since more and more people start using VR every day, it’s worth developing your business in this direction right now because of the growing demand.
Thank you for your interest!
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