I can still remember when the Nintendo Virtual Boy was released in 1995. I had butterflies in my stomach on the day I got to try it out for a few minutes at a friend’s house. I remember thinking “This is it. This is the future of gaming no more basic controllers or TV screens.” Sadly the technology was not up to my expectations. The graphics were all red and hard to focus on, it would give almost any player a headache within 5 minutes and you had to stand awkwardly and bend over in front of the device just to get your head in the right spot. After that experience I was really glad that I didn’t buy one.
Now 25 years later VR gaming and devices have come a long way. In 2018 there were an estimated 171 million active VR users in the world and by the end of 2020 global VR gaming revenues are predicted to reach $22.9 Billion. Virtual reality gaming and other programs are positioned to grow quickly over the next few years and companies and investors are taking notice.
The Virtual Reality Market
It’s been an odd year for more than a few markets and VR is no exception. According to Statista the Covid-19 pandemic has actually had a negative impact worldwide on the consumer market is expected to decrease over half a billion to $2.6 billion by the end of the year. However, that seems to be just a speed bump in the road as the VR market along with its little brother the augmented reality market are still predicted to grow quickly.
From 2018 to 2022 the market was expected to grow about 7.7 times. To put that another way the $27 billion 2018 market should grow to about $209.2 billion and VR will account for about 36% of the total. The important thing to remember is that most everyone is expecting VR and AR to grow dramatically over the next few years. It’s just a question of how much.
Game to Watch
With the market set to grow many gaming companies are trying to make intellectual properties that will draw in a large audience and take advantage of the unique experience that only virtual reality can provide. One such company, Oasis VR Inc. has created a game called Oasis. The company describes the game as a virtual world where you can start your second life. Players can create their own avatars, worlds, and have one of a kind experiences with people from around the world. Oasis allows a player’s creativity to reach almost limitless possibilities.
If that description sounds a little bit familiar that’s because the game was named after The Oasis, the virtual reality software from the book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Which was also made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg. In that fiction, The Oasis is the software that is used to make the entire internet a virtual reality experience. It seems that the makers of the real game seem to have a lot of the same goals in mind. Mainly granting the players the freedom to create within the game itself.
Right now the game is concentrating on social experiences and meeting other players, building a social network, creating avatars, creating different environments, and even creating games within the Oasis reality. The game uses its own software called Oasis Studio to help players express their creativity. In other VR games, players have to know how to code or use software like 3D Max to create environments. They launched in December of 2019 and currently have over 100,000 active players and a player retention rate of over 60%.
This game, much like the VR market is positioned to expand quickly. Once the creativity of the players takes hold within the game they could easily reach millions of players and endless content.