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Will Virtual Reality Entertainment Ever Reach Mainstream?

July 11, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Valentina Ferrari, Consultant, Executive Search

Based on the reports of several intelligence forecasts, the virtual reality (VR) industry is growing strong and is only likely to become stronger in the future. For instance, according to Greenlight Insights – the global leader in virtual reality and augmented reality market intelligence – by the end of 2017, global VR revenues will reach over $7 billion and, by the year 2021, revenues will skyrocket to a total of nearly $75 billion.

This is a very bold prediction and one that not everyone is buying into. According to an article by Todd Spangler on Variety, Spangler – a NY Digital Editor – is highly skeptical that VR will ever hit mainstream because he believes that for most regular non-tech and non “bleeding-edge creative” people (the vast majority of us), while virtual reality is fun and enjoyable, it simply isn’t a must-have product the average person needs or wants in their home.

The Roadblocks of VR Mainstream Success

In addition to Spangler’s belief that most people aren’t likely to make VR a part of their staple entertainment diet, he also points out that Millennial and Gen Z consumers (the demographics most likely to jump on the VR bandwagon) have short attention spans. This could be a problem, considering – at the moment – immersive VR entertainment experiences require the user to wear a VR headset, demanding their full and undivided attention.

Why might this be problematic? Spangler points out that according to Deloitte’s 2017 “Digital Democracy Survey”, 99% of Millenial and Gen Z viewers take part in an average of four additional activities (e.g. texting, social media, shopping, etc.) while watching TV.

With roadblocks such as these, Spangler doesn’t see how virtual reality could “deliver enough bang for the buck to ever become a mass consumer market.”

Several Industries are embracing VR

Although the NY Digital Editor has made some valid points, the fact remains that there are several industries rushing to embrace VR. In addition to gaming, some of these include: Retail, Advertising, News, Music, Hollywood Films, Adult Entertainment, Travel, Space Travel, and Health Care.

Even the gambling industry is seeing the “casino connection” between gaming and VR, noting the many ways that it can make use of the tech to enhance the experience of customers in the land-based gambling arena. More specifically, VR may benefit the rise of skill-based gaming and the inclusion of VR booths could entice non-casino gamers into the casino.

Moreover, it’s not just the land-based casino market that’s latching on to the idea of an immersive gambling experience. An in-depth look at VR casino games, reveals that virtual reality and gambling is a growing trend among casino operators (e.g. SlotsMillion) and software developers (e.g. NetEnt, Microgaming and Lucky VR) alike.

Huge investments are being made in Virtual Reality

It’s no secret that giant corporations like Facebook, Samsung and Google (each of which have their own VR headsets) are making massive investments in the industry to evolve their own products and customer base. In fact, earlier this year, Co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, said that Facebook plans to invest more than $3 billion over the next 10 years in VR to bring the experience to hundreds of millions of users.

With so many diverse industries taking a step in the VR world, experts in these sectors clearly feel that the possibilities virtual reality has to offer are worth the risk of exploration and investment. Such a broad interest says something positive about the future adoption of this tech.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is due to the fact that virtual reality entertainment is still in its very early stages, it is impossible for anyone to know if it will one day garner mainstream success. Still, positive predictions about the industry, huge corporations investing billions into the VR market, and more industries embracing virtual reality, could be a sign that there’s more to VR than it being a hyped-up short-lived fad.

ServicesStudios

RED Games Keeps Fingers on Pulse of Technology

August 30, 2016 — by Gamesauce Staff

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One of the first things someone might notice when looking up RED Games online or visiting their brick-and-mortar location is the code FF0000. While some may be at a loss to the meaning of this letter-number combination, those in graphic and game design will likely recognize it as hexadecimal for the color red.

RED Games CEO Brian Lovell says the unique branding is indicative of the company’s work and has been a great talking point for clients. “It suggests we do things a little different and we tend to think outside the box. It subtly connects the name RED to the work we’re doing with design and technology. New clients will ask us what it means, so it’s been a nice icebreaker. Most of the time (people) get a kick out of it once we tell them – they get to be part of the cool kids club.”

EventsIndustryNews

Keeping With the Times: Casinos Seek New Infrastructure, Investments, Business Models

May 25, 2016 — by Gamesauce Staff

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Editor’s Note: This is part 3 in a three-part series focused on changing trends in the casino gaming industry. Part 1 focuses on merging esports and casinos. Part 2 focuses on socialization inside the casino, skill-based gaming, and selling experiences as opposed to offering traditional gambling.

We live in a connected world. From social media and the internet to mobile devices and apps, people these days are with their most liked brands, tools, games and people on a near constant basis. Yet, casinos are not always as connected to their customers as they could be and older infrastructure can make it hard to adapt to the times.

At GiGse 2016, industry leaders and experts came together to discuss what casinos of the future will need to stay competitive and thrive in an increasingly technological world. Among the things discussed were new technology and infrastructure – as well as some ideas on changing the casino business model altogether.

EventsIndustryNews

Millennials, technology to feature heavily at GiGse 2016

April 6, 2016 — by Gamesauce Staff

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The future of casino gaming is a giant question mark these days. Whether it deals with millennials and how to acquire younger players or what new technological trends to pursue, the industry is at a pivotal crossroads.

These topics and more will be tackled at GiGse this month in San Francisco. The annual event is put on by Clarion – which also hosts other big-name casino gaming conferences such as ICE, EiG and more. This year’s show will include over 700 of the biggest names in the North American gaming industry – including Caesars Interactive, MGM Resorts, IGT, Scientific Games and more.

Asia 2014Video Coverage

Tom Sperry: New Technology Offers Solutions | Casual Connect Video

June 17, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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As a critic on the Game Slam panel at Casual Connect Asia 2014, Tom Sperry had the chance to review Meanwhile, In a Parallel Universe by Zombies Indie House. While there were some points of the game he disagreed with, but he felt overall that Diptoman Mukherjee did a good job.

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Tom Sperry, CEO, Exit Games.

Mountain climber and marathoner Tom Sperry is also the head of business development at Exit Games. In the last year, he ran three marathons, at Maui, Chicago, and Portland. Recently, he climbed Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, and he has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice.

Sperry’s work responsibilities include running the US and Asia offices of Exit Games. He was recruited by the founders and VCs to help drive growth in those areas. The fact that he earned his International MBA in Asia has been a definite advantage. He states that the highlight of his career was working with the team in Europe and bringing Exit Games global.

The innovation of the games industry and the way it pushes technology are the fun factors that drive Sperry’s passion for his work.

Moving Past Facebook

The greatest challenge he sees in the industry today is moving beyond Facebook, although he definitely sees the value of mobile; in fact, this is his own favorite platform to play on because it is easy, fast, and always on. But he emphasizes that it is essential to make games that are truly multiplayer and cross-platform.

He states that because Exit Games is a technology provider, they do not directly face this problem. However, with such mechanisms as Photon Cloud, that allow the development of cross-platform scalable realtime multiplayer games, they certainly seem dedicated to providing solutions. In fact, he states that they continue to believe multiplayer and cross-platform experiences will continue to be the most important trend of the games industry for the next several years.

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Photon Cloud allows for development of cross-platform scalable realtime multiplayer games.

At Casual Connect Asia, Sperry announced great new one-time pricing of Photon for indies and New Photon pricing with their CCU Forever Plan. He also announced two new products, Photon Turn Based for turn-based games and Photon Chat.

 

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