World view: The battle for dominance in VR entertainment -

World view: The battle for dominance in VR entertainment

Market analysts Greenlight Insights explore the rise of Location-based Virtual Reality Entertainment in the US and Asia-Pacific.
Publish date:
Social count:
0 0lbvre.png

Location-based virtual reality entertainment (LBVRE) is on the rise in North America.

Greenlight Insights’ research indicates that the LBVRE industry, currently valued around $40.8 million dollars will grow dramatically to almost $187 million by 2021. While this growth is positive, it is nothing when compared to the Asia-Pacific market, which is currently valued around $155 million and will reach nearly $825 million by 2021.

This market, led by China, is on a similar path but led by different factors from North America. The differences fundamentally come down to dissimilar behaviors between the North American consumer and the Asia-Pacific consumer.

In North America, consumers want social content - think of the popular Escape the Room experiences frequenting North American cities. This is also clearly seen when examining the top-selling video games in the US. Multiplayer titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 dominated the sales charts in 2016. Minecraft has sold over 122 million copies, largely attributed to its multiplayer world-building. Virtual Reality does not yet have this kind of inclusive experience, not in the home and not within LBVRE. In the Asia-Pacific market, the lack of compelling social content does not matter.

Asia-Pacific LBVRE consumers are more drawn in by content in general – content that is easier to obtain. When looking at software infrastructure, Asia-Pacific is generally far ahead of North America. Services like Viveport, which is illegal in North American LBVRE, are fully integrated into large markets like China. This helps LBVRE centers spread and regulate the virtual reality experiences that are available. This infrastructure also helps filter out the less-than-stellar content that can turn off the public.

Content, however, does not matter as much as the lower entry cost for Chinese VR arcades. The U.S. Disposable Personal Income is $14,490.10 compared to China’s $4,989.31, meaning that Chinese consumers in general have much less money to spend. Chinese VR arcades have succeeded largely because they are so affordable. This is also true of Japan, where consumers can spend less than $5 USD per hour on LBVRE.

Greenlight Insight’s research found that LBVRE performs best in cities, and Asia-Pacific is no different in this regard. That said, the Asia-Pacific region supports a much larger population than North America. Shanghai has roughly three times the population of New York City. This translates to three times as many consumers looking to spend money on fun activities.

Moreover, Asia-Pacific LBVRE centers have been smart about their location placement. Institutions in Japan, for instance, are likely to open near popular tourist attractions or in family-friendly centers. This further maximizes the amount of foot traffic and potential customers.

This combination of low entry cost, high population, prime location, and accessible content has propelled the Asia-Pacific LBVRE market into a global leader. Even as more compelling virtual reality entertainment develops, there is no reason to think that this region will lose its place at the top. Advances in virtual reality technology continue to be rolled out weekly, most of which will help the LBVRE segment across the globe. This is an industry still very much in its infancy. 


4_Andy Barrett_200x200.jpg

MY VIEW: Gibson versus video games

With Gibson Guitars currently embroiled in a legal wrangle with video games firms Activision and Harmonix over an alleged patent infringement, Andy Barrett, editor of sister title MI Pro, gives us an insight into the firm...


MY VIEW: The mobile games marketplace

Mobile games. Depending on who you talk to it's either a sector that's searching for its next big growth spurt or the only segment of the mobile content industry with an established, proven business model that makes money.

Featured Jobs

Historic Royal Places Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Executive

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) is a successful, high performing organisation built on strong foundations. An independent charity, we manage the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. We help everyone to explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

Universal Job Logo 620 x 349

Senior Graphic Designer, EMEA - Consumer Products

Working in tandem with the Product Development team and reporting into the Design Manager EMEA, the purpose of this role is to drive forward our creativity across all licensed consumer products. As part of the creative team, you’ll be developing exceptional creative assets and product concepts for numerous NBCUniversal franchises that inspire licensing partners across the entire region.

Aardman Job Logo 620 x 349

Brand Manager (Maternity Cover)

Part of the brand team, The Brand Manager works closely with several members of the department, including Studio Publicist, Community Managers, Licensing, Sales and Attractions and Live Experiences teams to implement local and international strategies in the form of brand plans and maximising on all activity surrounding the properties.

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.