Location-based virtual reality (VR) centres are popping up in many towns and cities all over the world, giving people a look at the most powerful VR technology is capable of, with companies such as The VOID producing in-depth licensed experiences for audiences. A report by Futuresource Consulting predicts that this sector will continue to grow, reaching $809 million (USD) by 2022.
The report predicts that consumers will begin to embrace the social side of location-based VR, as well as using these centres to experience high-end VR that might be too expensive for many users to have in their homes.
“Q1 2018 saw significant growth and rising consumer spend, this is expected to lead to full year spend of $299m in 2018 across the four types of LBVR categorised as arcades, multi-player experiences, VR cinemas and VR theme parks,” commented Carl Hibbert, Associate Director, Consumer Media & Technology. “Of all four categories, ‘VRcades’ has seen the fastest take off. The category was estimated at $79m consumer spend in 2017, accounting for 40% of all LBVR revenues.”
Of the four catagories, VRCades showed the highest number of locations, with an estimated 4,000 worldwide, with those in China accounting for the vast majority, at 75-80%. The VRcades have a relatively small set-up cost, making them appealing but offering a more limited experience to customers.
The other end of the spectrum are the very high-end, free-roam interactive VR experiences. The report expects that by 2022, 41% of location-based VR consumer spending will be at venues such as these.
“Multi-player LBVR allows players to roam free, untethered and with others in a VR environment. This category is expected to have the highest CAGR rate across the forecast period, despite a lower number of installations. This is due to consumer desire to pay for sociable experiences with friends, especially in more developed markets. Furthermore, the majority of multi-player installations offer original content restricted to franchise partners, thus remaining exclusive and adding to the attractiveness,” added Hibbert.