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1-in-4 VR pros say biz growth disappointed in 2016 - Survey

26% expected more from their VR business last year, but 46% of respondents said they saw strong or very strong growth

Expectations were all over the map for VR in 2016, so it shouldn't be too surprising that a new survey says they weren't lived up to in all cases. VR Intelligence and VRX Events have released findings from a recent survey of more than 500 VR professionals, showing that more than one quarter of them were disappointed in how their businesses grew last year.

When asked how they would describe the growth of their VR business over the past 12 months, 26% of respondents said it had been "weaker than hoped." However, some 46% of respondents were pleased with the previous year, describing their growth as "strong" or "very strong."

The survey also underscored the near-perfect split in the industry between PC and console VR applications versus mobile VR work. Slightly more than one-third of content creators surveyed said the majority of their VR work was on tethered (PC or console) VR platforms, while another third focused more on mobile VR. The remaining third said they were splitting VR work between tethered and mobile VR platforms fairly evenly.

As for the biggest hurdles VR still has to overcome, the fingers were pointed in opposite directions. Content creators most commonly pointed to the cost of VR headsets (64%), while respondents in VR tech (hardware makers, middleware creators, etc.) were more likely to bemoan a lack of content (66%). However, neither group has the blinders completely on, as lack of content was the second-most common response from content creators (58%), while headset price occupied the same slot for VR tech respondents (55%).

Other options for VR barriers to mass consumer adoption included lack of consumer awareness, headset size and design, motion sickness, and headset usability. VR tech workers had motion sickness tied for the least significant barrier with headset size and design (30%), while content creators were least likely to identify motion sickness as the biggest issue, with only 25% pointing to it.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.