From the latest VR Indie Pitch to the business of XR, the second day of presentations at XR Connects Helsinki covered advertising, working with brands, localisation and VR’s position as a niche or big money market.
Here are our 12 highlights of the day:
1) The morning of day two saw the return of the VR Indie Pitch, with 10 teams of varying sizes presenting their games to a panel of judges. There was a tremendous range of genres, concepts and executions across VR, AR and MR. The competition was won by dodreams for their ARKit game, Drive Ahead Mini Golf. We'll bring you more information on all the teams that pitched and their projects soon.
2) The consensus among the speakers in the XR business track is that 2020 will be the year that VR, AR and MR will penetrate the mass market through a combination of improved technology, convenience and affordability.
3) The complete opposite of mobile examples, VR advertising is, “Immersive, non-intrusive, native, measurable, interactive and dynamic,” according to Niklas Bakos from Swedish native advertising platform, Advrty.
4) Virtual Arts’ Ryan Booth says there’s an uptick in companies advertising for VR artists specifically, rather than 3D artists.
5) “There is a buzz about VR now, but marketeers don’t know how to use it,” says Vire’s Larissa Kyrion.
6) Brynley Gibson of Curve Digital (and Focal Point panellist) believes that branded content not only means developers can eat and develop original IP, but it also attracts a broader audience. He also said that immersive media brings a ‘supercharging of engagement’, driven by interactivity that creates a bond between the user and the brand.
7) Looking for overseas markets for your XR project? There are 80 million smartphone users in Russia, according to Sergey and Michael Doudy from the VR/AR Association Russia.
8) Steffen Roemer of Applanga said that developers who only offer their games in English are reaching less than 30% of the potential global market.
9) Given the high cost of the hardware, Dennis Kalinkin of Fox 3D entertainment is impressed with how many high end headsets have been sold so far.
10) To monetise XR content today, Kalinkin says that developers must not only make a great game, but they have to charge for it, with the industry moving towards a free-to-play model over time.
11) While consumer penetration is low due to the high cost of hardware, almost any business can afford to buy an HMD, so businesses become the first touchpoint for customers’ experience of VR, says Planoplan VR’s Alexey Ezhikov.
12) Harri Manninen from Nordic VR Startups advises new XR businesses to, “Be in cockroach mode. Recognise the fact that it’s not a billion dollar business for you yet, but there is money in it”. He qualified this saying, “You don’t want to go mobile VR to make money right now. You want to go high end”.
Thanks to all the speakers at this year’s XR Connects Helsinki and thanks to everyone who came along and made it such a special event.
We’ll be back next year!
Next up, we'll see you in London, January 2018.