Sure, XR promises bright futures for everyone, but what are the cold, hard facts of today, Q4 in 2017? Let’s turn the spot light for a moment to some of the bumps in the road.
Let’s ask Benjamin de Wit, festival director of VR Days Europe. He is on top of things and is just brutally honest when he says [listen to the podcast]: ‘The hurdles are multiple, such as on a technical level, for instance the playback: just the fact of having a headset on your head is intrusive, let alone the cables. Perhaps more important is the creative level, where developments are moving slowly. A lot of it is developed by VR enthousiasts, and that is great, but we also need to involve the creative minds who already have been successful in other industries. There are only a handful VR experiences that are on a very high and creative level, we have them on show in our Church of VR. There is not an incentive for people from other industries to start working in VR. People in opera, theatre, film, why would they start working in VR? For a lot of them it’s too early, because there is no consumer base, the tools are difficult to work with, the workflow pipeline is still very difficult.’
De Wit also sees improvements and mentions that all kinds of creative tools are becoming more and more accessible for non coders. ‘Still, it’s a hassle to create VR. You really have to want it very very much. At the same time it’s becoming a little bit more difficult for content creators to get funded. Because it takes more time for the consumer market to grow, investment in content is drying up a little bit. And that is a real shame — why buy an expensive headset if there is not enough quality content?
Where do we still see exceleration? In England, France, Canada, Germany: countries where you have some good funding institutions in place. This should always be matched by commercial parties, because otherwise you are dependent on the life support of subsidies, which is not good for creativity. But in this moment in time it’s important that there is some institutional help for content creators.’