Why Patrick O'Luanaigh is convinced VR gaming will be a success

Why Patrick O'Luanaigh is convinced VR gaming will be a success

"You either believe in VR, or you don't," said Patrick O'Luanaigh, the CEO of UK and VR-focused developer nDreams, kicking off his Develop:Brighton 2015 talk.

O'Luanaigh argues that while VR is still in its early stages, it is developing quickly.

"Two years into VR development, I'm convinced VR will be a success - in 2 years, in 5 years time," he said.

"But it will take time. It will be expensive. It will evolve rapidly."

What happens next?

Obviously, the reason for this is that consumer itself headwear will be expensive and have limited availability at launch.

And the launch period hasn't even started yet.

O'Luanaigh believes consumer VR will come with mass-marketing when Samsung releases the Gear VR/Note 5 in September 2015.

The HTC Vive is coming Q4 2015, Oculus Rift in March 2016 and Morpheus in May 2016.

More exciting, he argues there's already a pipeline for future technology, which will lead to better tracking, controls, peripherals, and ultimately experiences.

VR will take time. It will be expensive. It will evolve rapidly.
Patrick O'Luanaigh

"Some of the biggest technology companies in the world are working on this," O'Luanaigh said.

New experiences

The success of VR gaming won't be down to the hardware, however. Taking a measured approach to software will be key.

For one thing, games need to run at a constant 60 frames per second and people often spend more timing looking at objects in detail.

O'Luanaigh says playing around with different art styles can be informative for developers, especially if you can't do a photo-realistic content in terms of cost or rendering budget. Audio costs will certainly increase because audio is vital for generating strong presence in game.

VR does not need to be first-person, however. Diorama-style games are interesting, while nDreams also has a free beach simulator Perfect Beach which is doing well.

"I think you'll see new genres, or old genres revived," O'Luanaigh said.

First-person shooters, games with a lot of text, and snackable games are unlikely to work, though.

And, obviously, in terms of business model, there won't be a large enough install base for F2P in 2016.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.