The fall edition of the Virtual Reality Developers Conference concluded last Friday in San Francisco. While there were plenty of games among the exhibits and game developers in attendance, a common theme from those presenting was that the industry was rapidly shifting away from gaming. In fact, many of the sessions focused on enterprise applications, community building, monetization strategy, and new techniques for content creation.VR Game Development Become An Afterthought for a conference organized by the GDC team?
VR Game Development An Afterthought At VRDC
Though the non-gaming discussions may first seem out of place, VR is a complicated platform with demonstrated impact well beyond than gaming. The big revival initiative of VR was lead by gaming, and gaming continues to be a big driving force behind adoption. But non-gaming, enterprise applications are now viewed as a major opportunity for platform vendors such as HTC, Oculus, and Unity, as well as application developers, including game developers.
In the 2017 Virtual Reality Industry Survey by Greenlight Insights, 40 percent of VR game developers also develop non-entertainment content. These developers are working on content ranging from educational content to architecture to healthcare.
Monetization Also High on VRDC Attendees Agenda
Many of the sessions during VRDC focused on monetization strategy for VR content from free, ad-supported to premium, direct-pay revenue models. As an emerging industry, best practices are being established. Howeve,r the reality is that there will still be years before most third-party game developers start to earning a substantial profit for entertainment and gaming content. But as one attendee remarked, "Developing for non-gaming content shouldn't be a point of selling out, but of surviving. There are benefits of developing enterprise and branded content beyond monetary benefits."
For more on the strategies and technologies that will affect the future of VR and AR, hear from industry leaders like Unity, AMD, Accenture, HTC, and more at the upcoming Virtual Reality Strategy Conference on October 25-26 in San Francisco.