Venture capital is still out there for augmented and virtual reality studios, but they’re finding it continues to be a challenge to get enough consumers to pony up for games on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and mobile platformers.
In a recent interview from the Gamelab event in Spain, GamesBeat lead reporter Dean Takahashi discussed the “VR desert” with Minority Media’s Vander Caballero. His studio’s Time Machine VR, which goes underwater to check out prehistoric sea reptiles such as pliosaurs (they are not dinosaurs, despite what some think!), made money but hasn’t made it big, and this is something that a number of VR games are dealing with.
But studios do have some tactics available to them if they find their games aren’t covering their expenses, Caballero explains. You can get investment — VCs are still dipping to VR. The platform holders, like Google and Oculus, are helping, too. And I’m a big fan of what Insomniac’s doing, putting out VR games while still making traditional triple-A experiences such as Ratchet & Clank and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Maybe diversity is the key to surviving the VR desert — make good games on established platforms while you experiment with the emerging platforms.