Is VR the next big thing? Is VR going to change the gaming industry in the coming years? Will VR going to be the most popular gaming platform in the next few years? Is there any bright future for virtual reality gaming?
If you look into statistics and industry data, there is only one answer to all these questions – Yes, VR is indeed the next big thing.
Virtual reality is growing fast, in fact, very fast.
What does this mean for the gaming industry and game developers?
Virtual reality is opening up another door for game developers, a new gaming platform that is winning more and more users with every passing day.
Here are some quick facts about the growth of Virtual reality in the last few years.
- In 2015, there were only 6 million VR users or gamers all over the world. By the end of 2018, the number is expected to reach more than 170 million.
- The annual revenue for the virtual reality software industry is now around USD 2.57 billion, a rise from just USD 10 million in 2015.
- According to a survey conducted in 2017 in the United States, around 27% of the people said they are willing to pay more to play games on VR device compared to what they pay for playing conventional games.
- The same survey showed that around 40% of the consumers in the US are planning to buy a VR set in next 1-2 years.
- A recent report revealed that the total revenue of the virtual industry (hardware and software both) would exceed $21 billion by 2020. So, when is that? Ahh, just two years from now…
When the market is expanding, users are increasing, revenue is growing, and people are willing to pay more for playing VR games, you can conclude only one thing.
The future is bright for Virtual Reality Gaming and the VR game developers.
And it is not only the gaming industry, virtual reality is also reshaping the healthcare, education and other sectors as well. If you know how to develop games for VR, you can also develop VR content and apps for other industries as well.
The prices of VR sets are going down, the users are increasing, and the technology is on the verge of going mainstream in the next few years.
For game developers, this is the right time to climb on the fast-moving bandwagon before it’s too late.
It is expected that by the end of 2018, there will be around 36.7 million VR users in the United States alone, most using the device to play games.
Virtual Reality is the Gaming Platform of the Tomorrow
Back in 2014, when Facebook purchased the Oculus Rift for only $2 million, do you know what Mark Zuckerberg said at the time of the deal?
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow.”
And guess what, he was absolutely right.
The gaming industry is going to change rapidly in the next few years. And this is not what we claim – it is what the industry experts are saying.
Last year, a survey interviewed the top executives currently working in the virtual reality industry and concluded that 77% of VR executives or industry experts claim that VR will have the most significant impact on the gaming industry in the next few years.
The growing VR industry enables game developers/designers to create new gaming experiences for the users. Virtual reality technology allows game developers more space for creativity and a stronger emotional connection with the end users.
Now the question is, why VR gaming is gradually taking over the industry. The simple answer is – because it offers gaming experience to gamers which was not possible with any other gaming platform.
- VR gaming makes it possible for you to sensory experience situations that are not possible in reality.
- Gamers can emotionally get more involved in the games compared to other platforms.
- VR gaming also offers an opportunity to create social experiences in gaming, which is also not possible with other platforms.
Simply put, Virtual reality is going to take over other gaming platforms because of the unique experience and the immersion it offers.
The price drop in VR sets is another reason for the increased popularity.
As the competition increases in the market, the VR sets are getting cheaper and cheaper. Facebook recently launched Oculus Go, available for only $200.
This makes VR gaming more and more affordable for gamers. A couple of years ago, the VR sets by HTC and Oculus cost around $800. This means the prices dropped by four times for the VR sets.
Which Gaming Engines and Languages are the Best for VR Game Development?
There are plenty of good options out there, but if you want to use only the best options, here are the top three gaming engines we recommend.
- Unreal Engine 4
- AppGameKit VR
All three of the above allows you to develop good quality VR games. Unity and Unreal Engine 4 are also the most used in the industry, which means, if you know these gaming engines, you can also secure a job relatively easily in the industry.
Now, the next part, you also need to learn some programming to get better at development. For VR gaming apps, the top 4 languages are:
- C++ in combination with Unreal gaming engine
The best combo is to use C# with Unity. In fact, you can use Unity with C# to develop games for any platform. If you want to start learning Unity with C#, here is a great resource that you can download, Game Programming: Developing with Unity in C# for Beginners.
The conclusion is simple. If you’re planning to learn game development to develop games for VR, you are taking a right decision. The industry is growing, the users are increasing, and the demand for new games is also high.
If you are already well versed in languages like C# and gaming engines like Unity, you can quickly switch to VR game development.
The point is, if you are already developing games for mobile devices or PC, it is a good time to switch to VR gaming, as Virtual Reality is the future.