Now we have 12 months of real-world performance since the VR/AR market launched last year, it’s time to do a reality check on VC and corporate investors. VCs told us last year how they were to going to invest in VR/AR. Let’s see if they put their money where their mouths were.
Last year was a record breaker for games, with Digi-Capital’s Games Report 2017 recording $30.3 billion games deals in 2016. The $28.4 billion of games mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was 77% higher than 2014’s previous record, and $1.9 billion games investment was the second highest ever. After a games deals ice age in 2015, what put a rocket up deal makers last year?
“VR will be big, AR will be bigger and take longer.” What sounded revolutionary when we first said it 2 years ago has become accepted wisdom. But now the market has actually launched, we’ve got 12 months of real world performance and major tech players’ strategies emerging. And that’s changed our views on VR/AR growth. A lot. Our new Augmented/Virtual Reality Report 2017 base case is that Mobile AR could become the primary driver of a $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021 (underperform $94 billion, outperform $122 billion) with AR taking the lion’s share of $83 billion and VR $25 billion.
If you haven’t heard about VR/AR by now, your desert island must not have wi-fi. But there are millions of folks who know about VR/AR who haven’t seen it yet. User trial is on the critical path for VR/AR to go mass market. So what are the lessons from previous digital platforms about moving mass consumers from awareness to trial?