With the pandemic requiring many around the world to isolate, consumers are taking advantage of VR technology more than ever. They’re using it for school and work and are spending time in chat rooms that give users some semblance of a social environment. Despite the sudden demand, however, there is a dearth of titles. Graphics and accessibility have been improving rapidly, but content development is painfully slow.
In less than a century, VR has gone from science fiction fantasies to a regular consumer product whose user base is expanding faster than ever. By the end of 2019 Q2, 171 million people were using VR, and the virtual reality market is projected to be worth $44.7 billion by 2024. With this kind of growth happening in the market, now is the time to expand the library of VR games and content. Virtual reality needs momentum to reach mainstream adoption, and the lack of content is the only thing holding it back.
Unfortunately, there are some serious challenges ahead for developers as they work to find the funding to support their projects. While it’s obvious the market has a great deal of growth potential, investors are hesitant because of all the unknowns. Virtual reality has proven itself useful in medical, training and learning environments, but there are still some questions about what will be most popular in the realm of VR for entertainment.
The Early Days of Spectacles and Swords
The concept of virtual reality has fascinated the public since as early as 1935, when it appeared in a short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum called Pygmalion’s Spectacles. In it, Weinbaum described a pair of goggles that put the wearer in a movie, except, “instead of being on a screen, the story is all about you, and you are in it.”
In the 1950s, the Sensorama was a cabinet-style virtual reality machine that stimulated all the senses, with fans, scents and a vibrating seat. The floor model was the precursor to an actual headset created by Ivan Sutherland, who named his 1968 model The Sword of Damocles. The headset was connected to a computer, and it was intended to help helicopter pilots see their environment in the dark. The Sword of Damocles was so heavy, however, that Sutherland suspended it from the ceiling because no one could wear it and keep their head upright at the same time.
From Days of Wonder to Wondering When the Money Will Come
VR development has always been a stop-start kind of project, with dreamers forging ahead only to hit a financing wall. The hardware is finally in place and its user experience has recently improved enough to bring more fans to the community. Creating new content is the current obstacle preventing VR from achieving the next level of adoption, and the issues associated with funding a new VR app are many.
Developers need to learn new skills and invest in the resources necessary to support their efforts, and it’s a time-consuming process. It generally takes three developers 3 to 6 months or more to simply build a prototype for a VR game. The average game can cost upwards of $300 thousand to develop. Though this is a market certain to grow in the future, investors are hesitant to put money into VR development when there are so few metrics available to predict the success of a program.
As a result, developers have been scraping by, and the dynamic between funder and developer is such that most developers do not make any money past what they are paid to create the app in the first place. They are essentially shut out of their own intellectual property once they’ve created the content, and their earning potential ends when they turn in the final code. Facebook, the owner of Oculus, has poured $500 million into VR, but that investment has only inflated the market, making smaller investors and independent creators wary to join.
Filmio Supports VR Developers, Fans and Investors
Filmio’s Decentralized Platform makes it easy for developers to get the funding they need in order to advance the VR market to its full potential. By providing early access to promotional tools, audience metrics, and peer-to-peer transactions that give developers complete control over their intellectual property, Filmio is creating an entirely inclusive economy for developers and investors who want in on the action.
Whether they are starting with an idea or a completed project ready to promote, developers have support from the moment they load their content onto the platform. Their IP is timestamped as soon as it is validated on Filmio’s blockchain, making it simple to resolve disputes and track all transactions that happen on the platform.
Access to fan data and feedback is one of the best features of the platform because it gives developers promotional tools and the information they need to perfect their projects and gives investors insights into any game’s probability for success. Developers can start creating a fanbase immediately by building relationships directly with their followers and using available promotional tools to gain exposure and build hype. Investors can access metrics with a simple search to learn about what is working for any given project.
And Filmio hasn’t forgotten about the fans. Fans are given incentive to engage directly with developers by providing feedback about what they love and what they don’t. They get to participate in the creative process, show their favorite projects support, gain early or exclusive access to special content, sponsor developers and ultimately affect the outcome of every project with which they engage.
Filmio Simplifies VR Development
The VR market is booming and the demand for new games and other content is increasing every day. There are several roadblocks holding virtual reality back from what it could be, including fan data, investor hesitation and limited exposure.
Filmio’s platform removes these barriers, helping developers thrive in the marketplace and helping investors make confident choices in where they put their money. The VR market is ready to flourish and expand into the mainstream, and Filmio is here to usher in the new technology by supporting its developers, fans and investors in a way that makes everyone a participant in the process.