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XRDC: 59% of AR/VR developers are working on games

Oculus Rift surpassed HTC Vive this year as the top AR/VR/MR development platform

Games continue to make up the largest chunk of VR, AR, and XR development in a year where the industry has seen releases of two major new headsets: the Oculus Quest, and the Valve Index.

In a survey of over 900 professionals working in AR, VR, and XR development, XRDC determined that 59% of them were working on video games. Non-game entertainment projects had the second-largest share of projects, with 38%.

By platform, 29% of developers said they were working on projects for the Oculus Rift, 24% for the Quest, and 24% for the HTC Vive. The HTC Vive has had the largest share of projects for the past three years until now, with the Rift surpassing it and the Quest tying it. 23% also said they were developing for Android phones and tablets using ARCore.

In general, developers seemed optimistic about the Oculus Quest, with multiple respondents mentioning it voluntarily as an answer to the concern that the cost of producing for VR was still too high relative to the size of the audience. There was also considerable praise for both Beat Saber and Magic Leap as innovations that moved

52% of developers said they were designing their project specifically for AR/VR, and thus were not concerned about adapting the project for 2D platforms.

Looking at funding, a trend from previous years continued as 41% of developers reported their projects were being supported by existing company funds. Outside investment still seemed to be a less viable funding option, with 23% reporting using personal funds, and 27% saying the funding came from clients.

"Funding is plentiful, but most of the money gets swallowed up by the largest corporations," said one respondent. "Unfortunately, small and medium-sized companies are growing by acquisition into larger companies rather than solo development. Small and medium companies shoulder such a large amount of the risks to bring a product to market. It would be great to have some capital or resources to bring visibility to these smaller projects before they are selling off company assets."

Another funding concern is the issue with projects being profitable in the short-term, which was something only 11% of developers said they expected. 27% expected returns in the medium-term, 23% said long-term, and 22% said their project was not tied to profitability at all.

Finally, looking toward the future, 76% of respondents said they believe AR and XR will have a greater market share in the long-term than VR will.

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Rebekah Valentine avatar
Rebekah Valentine: Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.
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