What Is The Broad Impact Of VR On The Gaming Industry?

  • At a glance, the topic of what the broad impact of VR on the gaming industry could be might seem like one that’s been discussed to no end. The truth is that we don’t talk about this very often. We discuss VR’s power and impact in other industries such as interior design, travel, education, and science, and more. But where gaming is concerned, we tend to have a little too much fun talking about specific headsets and software titles. The impact is a bit harder to define, but we’re going to give it a shot here by looking at some of the major effects we’re already seeing or can expect in the future.

    Atmosphere Will Matter Even More

    One article looking at some of the things that might change in the gaming industry as a result of VR pointed out that we will probably see more focus on atmospheric gameplay. The interesting thing is that this transition had already started before VR, and may have helped pave the way for it. Think of how often you’ve seen mobile titles praised for gorgeous designs in recent years, or how common it is for console titles to be heralded for their expansive and immersive worlds. The truth is that the power of modern gaming systems coupled with the creativity and competition among designers has led to a greater emphasis on atmosphere as a core component of video games. The rise of VR won’t bring this about as something new, but it will undoubtedly compound the emphasis on atmospheric. This should make for the regular release of some truly sensational gaming worlds.

    We May Become Our Favorite Characters

    Right now there isn’t a whole lot of focus on characters in VR gaming. As we just discussed, atmosphere is probably the most important component, followed by the physical and sensory experience of the player. Because VR is often all about first person perspective, there’s very little attention being paid to the idea of controlling characters. Theoretically, that could mean we’re entering an era with no more Sonics or Marios. But this will almost inevitably change. Console and game makers alike have thrived on iconic characters for decades, and they’re unlikely to give them up now. Rather, VR developers will have to get creative. That means that at some point we may well be playing as some of our favorite old characters, rather than controlling them from the outside. Who knows? Maybe in the near future a VR exoskeleton will cover your body in sensory inputs so you can “feel” what it’s like to hit a mushroom and grow into big-Mario!

    Casino Gaming May Go Mainstream

    This probably sounds silly to some, given that casino gaming is extremely popular all over the world. Because it’s not legal everywhere to play with real money, and because it lives primarily online, it’s not exactly “mainstream” in the sense that we think of ordinary gaming. A fairly recent development in the online casino business has set it up perfectly for expansion to VR. Online sites are now offering live dealer options, which are described as games that see players transported to glitzy studios or real venues through video feeds. Instead of generic, graphically designed casinos, players now see live dealers and real, existing environments. It’s almost like a type of VR played out through a computer screen, and it should leave gamers hungry for the immersion of actual VR. VR and casino gaming may well be the perfect marriage and could allow players to experience glamorous casinos from the comfort of the ir couches.

    Gaming Will Be More Emotional

    This is an interesting point that was made by another piece discussing some of the long-term changes we can expect to see. As that piece put it, VR can make you feel like you have a responsibility to the events around you. In other words, you’re less a spectator and more of a participant. It might sound trivial, but if you’ve tried high-end VR you know that it really can feel real, and that should make decision-making an interesting process in a lot of games. That's because it will be colored at least partially by your own emotions. This could be one of the most surprising changes we see due to its difficulty to define, but that doesn't make it any less inevitable.
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