Lessons The VR Industry Needs To Learn

In comparison to other entertainment industries such as TV and Film, the virtual reality (VR) industry is still a toddler, bumping into things, falling over and getting this wrong fairly often. That’s ok, that’s all part of the learning process. The important thing is that these lessons are learned, understood and acted upon, including those cautionary tales from other industries. Here, we take a look at some important points that VR developers and companies need to take into account.

Follow The Leader Will Lead You Over A Cliff

When you see something is successful, its very tempting to attempt to take it apart, see what makes it tick and then make your own and present it to the audience proudly, waiting for a shower of praise about how brilliant you are.

Only that doesn’t tend to happen. If you try to copy a brilliant thing purely because it is successful, then people will see it for what it is – a knockoff.

We all know that Hero Shooters and Battle Royale titles are all the rage right now, that doesn’t mean you need to make one as well. Those games already exist, and people have already become invested in whichever one they prefer. They are very unlikely to abandon something they’ve sunk loads of time into unless you give them a fresh take on the idea. That said…

Stop Worrying About Being First

Among the communications we receive at VRFocus, scarcely a week goes by that we don’t see someone proclaiming they have made ‘The First X in VR!’. Please stop doing this, for two reasons:

1) You probably aren’t the first

2) It doesn’t really matter

Being the first to market with a concept doesn’t matter in the long run. People don’t care about which product was first, people care about which product was best. This is especially true in VR, which has a relatively small userbase who tend to talk to each other a lot, bad word-of-mouth because you rushed your product to market can kill it dead.

Movement Options Are Important

People like choice. That should be obvious by now, but it doesn’t seem to be to a lot of developers. It’s great that developers want to make sure people are comfortable and avoid those dreaded simulation sickness symptoms, but a lot of people don’t suffer from motion sickness. It’s important to cater to them as well, many of whom find teleport-only movement to be jarring and immersion breaking.

Don’t Bet Everything on One Title

Both Hollywood and much of the mainstream videogame industry seem to have fallen into the same trap of creating films and videogames that have enormously inflated budgets, which come with a need to sell almost impossibly vast numbers of copies to make a profit.

This isn’t necessary. You don’t need a huge budget to make a great VR title, but what you do need is an idea, talent, patience and a lot of hard work. We’ve seen what a tiny team of devoted developers can do with title like Polybius and Apex Construct.

Don’t Make Another Wave Shooter

Please. We’re prepared to beg. Not another one.