Let's imagine, a horde of flesh eating zombies chasing you, or you and your friends are the last survivors on earth and are working together to save humanity! What is happening! Your heart is pumping, nerves are racing and the slightest mistake can cost you your life! But you finally run away, save humanity and you are safe outside the “VR arena” with your friends!!!
This is the power of VR, “This moment you are living in your own world and the next minute you are lost in the VR world. You know you are just visiting but your mind is convinced otherwise. One moment is all it takes to be consumed in a world that will blow your mind forever.”
However, despite the potential that VR has, the pace of growth for VR has been lackluster since its invention in the 1960s. According to reports, it was predicted to be mainstream by 1994 but it never really took off then. However, the growth in VR gaming in 2019 was spectacular at 25% to $12 and going ahead, it is expected to grow at 30% from 2020 to 2027.
Having said that, I believe the reasons for upcoming growth in Virtual Reality Gaming in the Indian market making it the mainstream is being driven by:
Market conditions and growth of gaming
With the pandemic hitting the country in 2020 and the absence of other entertainment options, there has been a paradigm shift in the audience gravitating towards online gaming platforms. The current gaming industry in India is estimated at $1.5 billion (2020) and is expected to reach $2.8 billion by 2022 itself. Apart from the addition of 45-50 million online gaming subscribers due to Covid-19, the growth is also fuelled by the increasing penetration of smartphones, widening gaming demographic (from kids to adults and older generation) and a remarkable contribution from the female gamers (casual and hardcore).
Growth of technology
Given that we are in the fourth industrial revolution where technology is the king, I think futuristic technology and experiences are set to revolutionize gaming forever. These experiences already exist in the US, Europe and SE Asia and now need to come to India too. Next-generation gaming involves Virtual Reality which can be very immersive. These experiences are lifelike where players play in a social environment (involving motion capture technology and proximity sensors) giving them the thrill and fun to enjoy with their family and friends.
Advancement in VR tech
Overcoming the drawbacks of traditional VR which restricted the VR experience to be stationary, isolating and expensive, the onset of the “Free Roam VR” experience is driving the launch of VR arcades. This is attracting the gamers and the target demographic who are largely concerned about having the best experience in a social environment at the most affordable price. Further, the active and immersive experience that these arcades provide forces the gamers to keep coming back.