Even as free-to-play seems to be taking a beating in recent weeks, there was an interesting talk at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco yesterday that bolstered its outlook for the future. As reported by VentureBeat, a panel of developers made the bold claim that "Free-to-play gaming is coming to virtual reality."
Well, it's everywhere else, in some form or another, so why not? It seems a little incongruous, especially if you look at how much VR costs and figure that the people using it won't shy away from spending on full-priced games. But while the market is relatively small now, it might make sense for later adopters to try what's worked elsewhere -- that being free-to-play -- and apply it to VR gaming, especially if the price of VR comes down and appeals more to budget-conscious gamers.
One thing that I'm a little weirded out by is the latter part of the discussion, which mentions a company that inserts video trailers into VR games, to provide advertising revenue. I just can't envision any world where gamers would be OK with ads in the middle of their games. The company doing this, Immersv, says that 79% of video ads they insert are viewed to completion. That seems way out of whack to me, and I almost wonder if the rate is so high because people are struggling with the new tech and aren't sure how to close the ads.
So... virtual reality plus free-to-play. Sound like a good match to you?
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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