While location-based entertainment is relatively new to the virtual reality industry, it has definitely taken off. At Sandbox VR, we’ve watched our store performances increase during the past year despite the technology still being in its infancy. According to Technavio, location- based virtual reality’s compound annual growth rate should reach 36% by 2023.
But even as location-based virtual reality entices more and more consumers, we know this is only the beginning. You can draw a straight line from today’s virtual reality trends to the virtual reality we expect to experience in five years. Tomorrow’s location-based virtual reality experiences will not only improve haptics, field of view, and graphical fidelity, but they also will allow users to participate in VR without cumbersome backpacks or trackers.
These improvements are happening on an ongoing basis, and growth is certain for the virtual reality industry. But these advancements aren’t the only virtual reality trends to monitor moving forward. Here are two trends that will affect everyone in 2020:
• Higher-Quality Experiences
Do you ever stop and wonder why we’re seeing more superhero, space odyssey, and fantasy properties adapted into blockbuster films? It’s due to rising production values. When multiscreen theaters rose to prominence in the 1960s, production companies had the financial coffers to pour money into more ambitious big-picture ventures.
The same thing is happening within the virtual reality industry. As location based virtual reality moves toward “holoplexes” — multiplexes for virtual reality — VR production values and access to intellectual properties will improve. Rather than walking into random stories, customers will be able to drop into the worlds of “Star Wars” or “Harry Potter” because their respective parent companies understand the value of VR.
Lastly, the physical side of location-based virtual reality experiences is equally important. Consumers expect high-quality retail experiences that match their virtual adventures. With the right team members guiding them through virtual worlds, participants will enjoy fundamentally profound experiences.
• More Spectator-Friendly Esports Competitions
As esports gain popularity and spectator appeal, the industry still lacks one attribute: movement.When you go to an arena to watch an esports competition, you’re still just watching a dozen people sitting on chairs behind computer monitors — you might as well watch it at home.
Virtual reality will allow companies to bring the physicality of sports into esports. Spectators can watch as participants move around the room and within the virtual world. In 2020, we’ll watch as the growth of virtual reality boosts esports’ following.
These virtual reality trends won’t just impact next year, though. As location-based entertainment gains popularity, we’ll see a whole new virtual world unfold in 2020 and beyond.
Are you ready for a new franchise that will last beyond the new year? Check out our opportunities here.