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BBC launches VR Hub studio

Broadcaster will focus on high-quality, high-impact experiences in effort to push tech to the mainstream

The BBC has dipped its toe in the waters of virtual reality before, but now it's ready to dive right in. The broadcaster has announced BBC VR Hub, its new VR studio that will work to push VR to mainstream audiences.

"Our research shows that for as long as the quantity of high-quality content remains low, and the experience remains cumbersome, mainstream audiences won't use VR," VR Hub head of content commissioning Zillah Watson said in a blog about the studio. "That's why we're focussing on a small number of high impact pieces that have broad, mainstream appeal.

"We want to excite audiences by creating the most enthralling experiences imaginable using the power of VR. So with every commission, we will target a specific set of audience needs and occasions, ensuring that each piece is compelling enough to make people want to put on a headset."

To date, the BBC has released VR experiences on the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, and with this week's launch of Home - A VR Spacewalk, the HTC Vive.

"With the credibility and trust the BBC has, along with the size of our audience and intimate understanding we have of them, the BBC can play a crucial role in bringing virtual reality into the mainstream," Watson said.

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Latest comments (1)

Gary Lucero QA Analyst, Advanced 17 days ago
Excellent article. It really explains what's happening. As someone who is middle aged, been playing computer games since the early to mid-eighties, and generally sticks with single player games, I'm definitely not the target market for most of the games-as-a-service type games that come out.

I won't be playing multiplayer games, buying cosmetic items or loot boxes, etc. I would spend money if the content was right; if Skyrim's Creator's Club had quests or other content that really mattered; but I tend to shy away from transaction content.

It could be I just stop playing games at some point. I don't think it would affect a market driven by young people anyway. I find it a shame to see things go this way, but it does make sense.
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