Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in Gaming: Present and the Future
A lot of people do not know this but the videogames industry is much bigger than the movie industry. Yes, you read that right. The global gaming industry reached the $180 billion mark in 2021 and that number is expected to grow in 2022 .
According to Statista, Console games alone generated $49.2 billion dollars . Besides, the mobile gaming segment is expected to generate more revenue than any other gaming segment in the upcoming years.
The gaming industry has come a long way over the past couple of decades due to a myriad of factors. Video games are enjoyed by both genders equally and in many ways have transcended the limits of social status and age to provide value for everyone.
As the gaming industry presents a sea of opportunities to nail customer loyalty and brand exposure, it is a hotbed for VR and AR applications. This is why we are expecting to see a lot more AR and VR in gaming. In fact, we are currently in the first phase of witnessing what AR and VR bring to the gaming industry. Right from hardware to the development of cutting-edge software, there is tremendous movement on this front.
A lot of gaming companies are turning to AR and VR to provide immersive experiences. Some other companies are using AR and VR in gaming to promote games and their brand.
Are AR and VR the future of gaming? Will it transform the entire gaming industry? There is a strong reason for us to believe that AR and VR in gaming will be the next big thing.
VR and AR in gaming – current state of affairs
As per the report published by the International Data Corporation, AR and VR generated an impressive $12 billion in 2020 and are expected to cross the $72.8 billion mark by the end of 2024 .
What is even more fascinating is that the VR and AR market generates around 80% of total revenue through the gaming industry. We are seeing more and more gaming companies gradually expand their offerings and tap the opportunities of VR and AR in gaming.
The share price of the world’s largest social gaming firm EA Sport has increased by around 20% over the past year. Why? Guess what, they have made some sound investments in the AR industry.
Even companies like Sony, whose gaming division is one of the biggest in the world have hopped on to the AR bandwagon. If the gaming heavyweights are exploring what they can achieve with AR and VR, how can we forget the interest from tech companies?
Google, Amazon, and Facebook have expressed great desire to establish a presence in the VR and AR market. It is clear that the demand for AR and VR is on the rise.
How are game developers deploying AR and VR in gaming?
Video game developers and creators were striving hard to let players experience the world of games first hand. Over the past few years, cutting-edge technologies such as AR and VR coupled with path-breaking innovations are making that possible.
Besides, we are also seeing more realistic environments being created within the game. This is another reason why a lot of people from around the world are becoming more and more interested in AR and VR games.
It is safe to say that both technologies have become synonymous with gaming.
How can we forget the buzz Pokemon Go created just a few years back. While the technology was still in its infancy, it introduced Pokemon into the real world which the players could view with their smartphones.
It is fair to say that Pokemon Go is one of the best and most mind-blowing AR experiences to date. Besides, players could use the game to explore new towns, cities, and even visit areas of the local neighborhoods they have never visited before.
Imagine going to Central Park in New York at 4 AM at night to only find 4,000-5,000 people playing Pokemon Go together. In fact, a lot of players came together to help each other out and catch rare Pokemon characters. It is one of those rare cases wherein technology actually got more people together.
AR and VR in gaming: Challenges
There are several hurdles that could potentially hinder the widespread adoption of AR and VR in gaming in the future. While smartphone gaming took off due to its easy accessibility, AR and VR require equipment to play.
Recent research published by Entertainment Software Association revealed that out of 169 million gamers, a modest 29% of them owned a VR .
Another major barrier is the steep cost of development. Right from the hardware to development, the different aspects of AR and VR in gaming are more expensive than conventional PC and mobile gaming.
For example, the Unity engine provides a library of assets that can be used by developers to make visual content. However, the library is limited and the price of acquiring new assets is high.
VR and AR devices have tremendous potential in the gaming world. However, for that to materialize, these technologies need to mature, become more user-friendly, provide economic benefits, and more.
AR and VR devices are battery-intensive. This is another reason why the adoption of AR and VR in gaming could slow down in the future. However, Virtual Human Interaction Lab has created a platform known as “Cloudhead” that allows AR and VR games to be played hygienically.
While there are a few challenges and roadblocks along the way, there is little doubt that AR and VR in gaming is the next big thing. In fact, we cannot wait to see how the future of gaming unfolds with the emergence of such state-of-the-art technology.
Right from teaching to creating simulations, AR and VR could open up tons of possibilities.
These technologies provide mixed reality, where the real world and virtual world come together. However, it is important to understand that mixed reality can offer so much more.
When video games are embedded in real-world objects, VR and AR make it possible to play in stadiums, forests, and other places. The next stage of the gaming industry is set to embrace AR and VR with open arms. It will also enable players to share their information in unique ways.
Time will tell how AR and VR in gaming will make an impact on our lives. We would love to hear your thoughts on how the gaming industry will change with the emergence of augmented reality and virtual reality.
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 (2021) “What Is the Impact of AR and VR on the Gaming Industry?” Pixelplex [online] Available from: https://pixelplex.io/blog/ar-and-vr-in-gaming/ [accessed February 2022]
 Clement. J (2022) “Video game market revenue worldwide in 2021, by segment” Statista [online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/292751/mobile-gaming-revenue-worldwide-device/ [accessed February 2022]
 (2020) “Worldwide Spending on Augmented and Virtual Reality Forecast to Deliver Strong Growth Through 2024, According to a New IDC Spending Guide” IDC [online] Available from: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS47012020 [accessed February 2022]
 (2020) “2020About the Video Game Industry ESSENTIAL”The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) [online] Available from: https://www.theesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-ESA_Essential_facts_070820_Final_lowres.pdf [accessed February 2022]