There is no doubt that virtual reality (VR) games caught quite a lot of attention with the release of the Rift and Quest headsets. The Quest 2 accelerated the growth of VR game development by allowing more gamers to have immersive fun for an affordable price. While VR has yet to become mainstream, it has excellent potential and could be the beginning of a true revolution.
VR better than traditional video games?
At this point, we can’t say that one of them is simply better. Both have their advantages and shortcomings. However, it seems as though VR game development has much larger potential in terms of immersion, fun and realistic gameplay. So once the industry deals with some issues that it still faces, it will most likely take up a big portion of the market.
The advantages of VR games
One way VR games are better than classic video games is that they are more immersive. A 360° view of the surroundings provides a life-like experience that can’t be matched by flat displays. What’s more, wearing VR goggles makes users less distracted by their physical surroundings. Add in the realistic interaction mechanics and constantly improving graphics and you get a truly immersive experience.
Besides headsets becoming more powerful and cheaper, new equipment is entering the market, which further improves the game experience and increases immersion. These devices include omnidirectional treadmills and haptic vests. We had the opportunity to test both of those extensively at 4Experience. And they really make a difference.
What’s another advantage of virtual reality games? They often require players to move around which is healthier than sitting down all day and holding a gamepad. Users can get some exercise while having fun. Finally, VR games give a better multiplayer experience – the user feels like his companions are present in the same space.
Virtual reality gaming – the challenges
We’ve mentioned the huge improvement in hardware and its functionalities. However, there are still some fields that are yet to reach truly satisfying levels or are not yet available for the average consumer. For example, we still don’t have accessible multi-purpose haptic gloves. And the top-tier headsets are not affordable enough for most individuals. But there is no doubt that this is a temporary issue.
VR games can also cause nausea and dizziness in some players, so developers have to be careful to design them properly. But this only applies to a relatively small percentage of users – most aren’t affected by these symptoms. Moreover, they are often caused by high latency or not being used to VR. So they can be overcome, at least to some degree.
Finally, when it comes to VR game development, there are indeed fewer experienced developers available. Fortunately, not at 4Experience. Our team of VR developers, game designers and 3D artists specializes in virtual and augmented reality applications making us the perfect choice if you want to create an immersive XR experience. Here’s a glimpse of what we can do.
Future predictions for VR game development
Truth being said, personal VR headsets are still a lot less popular than PCs and gaming consoles. Is that going to change? It’s hard to say. But the amount of sales is growing every year, and we can be almost sure that the trend will continue.
According to IDC, more than 20 million VR headsets will be sold in 2023; two years later, this figure will rise to 30 million. 2021 saw more than 10 million XR headsets sold, twice as many as 2020! So these forecasts for the following years seem completely viable. Here are some more interesting VR statistics by Oberlo.
This increase in sales is caused by the rising popularity of XR but also because headsets are becoming more affordable. For example, when the first Quest was launched, it cost at least 399 USD. Nowadays, you can buy the Quest 2 for 249 USD if you get a good deal. Besides that, new technologies, solutions and peripherals are arriving on the market. And the ones that already have a place there are getting more accessible.
Is VR the future of gaming?
PC & console games will still play a significant role in the market in the coming years. But VR game development is increasingly popular, and that’s a trend that won’t change soon. With more headsets shipped than ever, constantly improving technology and increasing interest, people are hungry for virtual reality entertainment.
Let’s also not forget that the digital world is slowly but surely making its first steps into the metaverse. And this should further increase the growth of virtual reality. After all, it’s arguably a core technology of this digital transformation.
Finally, have a look at the game below. Would you prefer a PC monitor, mouse and keyboard rather than this fully immersive virtual world? Would you rather play a racing simulator on a 2D screen, or would you choose a 360° view of the interior and your surroundings? It’s hard to disagree that virtual reality entertainment is much more engaging and exciting.
How game developers can benefit from developing virtual reality games
Most companies in the gaming industry still stick with PC, console and mobile games. After all, it’s easier to create such productions, and they usually have more users. However, although VR game development is still a niche, there is a surprisingly high demand for games. As opposed to the problem of overchoice in PC and console entertainment, there are very few proper virtual reality productions available.
What’s more, a VR experience offers much more fun than regular video games, so consumers are willing to pay more. Having splashed out on a headset, they usually don’t mind spending another 60 USD on quality entertainment. Generally speaking, VR users are the smallest group compared to PC, console and mobile gamers, but they are willing to pay the most for games.
How much can you earn with a VR game exactly? Data found on EnterpriseAppsToday suggests that the highest-grossing VR games, Beat Saber and Half-Life: Alyx, produced almost 70 million USD of revenue each.
If you’re thinking about creating virtual reality entertainment, check our VR game development offer. Seven years of experience, a versatile team and a client-oriented approach mean we will deliver the results you expect.
The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
Marketing specialist with four years of experience. Having spent part of his childhood in Ireland, he's fascinated with its culture and language. Loves history, football and any form of writing.