The Justin Bieber Guide To VR Games
Throughout the last couple of years, we've seen a plethora of news posts about the way virtual reality was about to save the classic arcade. The theory goes that the VR gear is too expensive for home users, therefore it creates an opportunity for operators to pony up the big bucks to buy it and then make their money back by charging per game to play with it. From the MIT Technology Review.
"While many high-end cans were released annually that may bring virtual-reality experiences to your living room, adoption of the technology remains in its first days to get a lot of reasons--it is still bulky, pricey, and there is not all that much to do as soon as you've got it on your face. More than two million cans were sent worldwide in 2016, according to an estimate from market researcher Canalys, yet this figure pales compared to the prevalence of, say, video game consoles (earnings of the leading one, Sony's PS4, topped six million throughout the 2016 holiday season ). Consumer virtual reality will probably catch on as costs come down and cans improve. In the meantime, though, a number of businesses are betting that customers may be pleased to cover a much smaller amount to try the technology with their buddies at, say, an arcade, theme park, or bowling alley."
It is tempting to dive into this snare, but in the operator's perspective VR is a terrible deal. Operators are being asked to pay top dollar for technology that's all but guaranteed to plummet in value over the very short term. Aside from buying a brand-new car and driving it a mile, I can not think of a way you could eliminate money quicker between what you pay and what you will have the ability to get down the road.
Another limit for most operators is that while you might be able to provide a space for VR individuals to wander around in today, as new VR tech is introduced, we're likely to find the stage expanded from 100 square feet to the entire world. Instead of viewing just the matches in your headset, you'll realize the real world with game play overlayed. Since the tech allows more actual world areas to be researched, it is going to make a cramped arcade seem fairly lame in comparison.
VR is already heading for mass market acceptance, however it's demand is not being driven by players who want to pay big buck to play video games, but such as the BETAMAX that came before it, by individuals who want to watch pornography in their homes.
Even if an operator can create just a bit of money to the upcoming few decades, after VR achieves critical mass, it is going to crush whatever earnings stream that operators are dreaming of. Do not believe me? Just check out what's happening in China.
Last year, an eye popping 35,000 virtual reality arcades opened in China. A year later 22,000 of these have closed.
That is an unbelievable failure rate over such a brief time period and one which should function as a sharp warning to anyone considering investing in the VR games. Perhaps Dave and Busters can afford to take losses over the matches longer than Chinese startup arcades, but I doubt that most North American operators will fare much better with the technology in their match rooms and will just wind up in debt at the end of the day.
The issue basically boils down to consumers not being willing to pay a premium for the experience. Tech In Asia, describes the problem perfectly in their article, on that the Chinese VR boom and bust.
"Enterprising shop owners jumped into VR are finding it impossible to bill fees akin to cinemas or bowling alleys for a VR experience. One VR arcade proprietor told iHeima that he saw eager queues when charging US$1.50 for a 30-minute session, but everybody disappeared as it climbed to US$5. From that kind of revenue it's not possible to pay the lease."
Even if the game was sold out daily, at $1.50 per half hour they're just earning $30 per day. With retail rents in North America running $1 -- $2 a square foot, there's no way to make the math work, www.wonkaplayground.com even in the event that you suppose that Americans will pay more to play with the matches.
The actual world data streaming in from China must function as a canary in the quarter mines of North America. Operators who invest large amounts of money on elaborate VR setups will soon find their little VR rooms being replaced by the whole world for a stage. Since the setups get cheaper, smaller and more portable, the digital arcades will look more costly, bulky and limited.