The UBM Game Network, producer of the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), today released the first-ever VRDC VR/AR Innovation Report, compiled of responses from professionals involved in the development of virtual and augmented reality. The new report offers an exclusive glimpse into the fast growing and diverse VR/AR industry - from sustainability of the market, to market challenges, platform availability, funding and more.
For more information and to download the report, download it for free here!
The VR/AR industry is in a phase of rapid growth. Investors have poured major money into expanding the business, while leading innovators (including Microsoft, Sony, Google and more) are entering the market this year. AR technology has burst into the mainstream market via the highly popular Pokemon Go app. As the world of VR and AR expands, UBM Game Network is working to provide the industry with the latest information around virtual and augmented reality.
With this initiative in mind, the organization first launched VRDC, co-located with the Game Developers Conference, in March 2016 and will introduce a standalone VRDC event November 2-3 in San Francisco, CA that expands beyond games and entertainment to VR and AR for brand experience and innovative use cases of all kinds.
The first VR/AR Innovation Report comes in advance of the highly anticipated VRDC event. Reported findings are based on responses from more than 500 professionals currently working to develop VR/AR experiences.
Findings within the report are organized into six facets – each providing valuable takeaways on current trends critical to the growth of VR/AR development:
What platforms are people developing for?
This is the year big players -- including Oculus, HTC, Sony and Microsoft -- release consumer grade VR and AR headsets, so a major question for the VR/AR industry at large must be: which headsets are getting the most attention from developers? Results found that almost 50% of professionals are favoring a few key companies over tech giants including Microsoft, Sony and Google.
When asked to choose the VR/AR platform(s) they were currently developing, 49% of those surveyed said the HTC Vive, 43% said the Oculus Rift and 34% said Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-powered headset.
Google commands quite a bit of developer attention across its various VR and AR initiatives - 29% of those surveyed said they were currently developing something for Google’s inexpensive, smartphone-powered Cardboard platform, while 15% said they were developing for Google’s more dominant mobile-powered VR platform, Daydream.
Coming in after Daydream, perhaps because they’ve yet to see a consumer release, was Sony’s upcoming PlayStation VR headset with 13% and Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset with 9%.
More information on platform preferences for surveyed developers’ upcoming games is included in the VRDC VR/AR Innovation Report.
Will developers be working exclusively with specific companies?
With multiple consumer grade VR and AR headsets entering the market this year, the question of games and experiences being released exclusively on a single headset, either temporarily or permanently, has become an important one. A significant 78% of respondents do not plan on their next game being platform exclusive.
Who’s paying for it all?
Investors have poured a great deal of money into the expanding VR/AR industry over the past
few years, but it’s not always clear how those investments stack up against the other forms of
funding fueling the industry’s growth. The report found that nearly 50% of developers are paying out of their own pockets for projects (and 33% from their company’s existing funds) as opposed to alternate funding sources. The report also cites that clients (17%), angel investors (13%) and venture capital (11%) were also an important part of the mix.
Is VR/AR here to stay?
To get a sense of how committed our survey respondents were to the idea that VR/AR is here to
stay, we asked a simple question: do you believe VR or AR is a long term sustainable market? 96% agree that the industry is here to stay, however the remaining 4% of respondents who disagree raises questions about what potential challenges are down the road.
What are the challenges ahead?
While the VR/AR industry is growing rapidly, it seems likely to face a number of challenges before it can truly be said that it has achieved mass market adoption. Nobody knows that better than the professionals who are working on the cutting edge of all things VR/AR. There were a few common challenges cited amongst respondents:
- Nausea: nausea-inducing VR/AR experiences are a common concern as professionals fear they might turn away folks who might otherwise be intrigued by the technology
- Pricing: with pricing that can fall north of the $2,000 range for a high-end PC, Oculus Rift or Vive, developers are concerned that the most cutting-edge VR/AR technologies might be out of most consumers’ price ranges
- Tech and Design Obstacles: developers have found difficulties in relation to preventing motion sickness for users, as well as overcoming locomotion barriers
Why is VR/AR still a focus?
Why are so many developers still focusing their efforts on VR/AR, even in the face of
significant challenges? Respondents submitted an array of groundbreaking ideas and projects using VR/AR – discussed in more detail within the report.
Media can obtain a copy of the report by contacting the VRDC PR team at [email protected]
VRDC 2016 will take place November 2-3 at the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco. For more information on VRDC 2016, visit the show's official website and subscribe to regular updates via Twitter and Facebook.
Gamasutra, VRDC and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas.