In places like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and of course, China Internet gaming is not so much of an “at home” pastime as it is an Internet Cafe phenomenon. Most young people can afford the higher end PCs and so they flock to Internet Cafes all around the region. Now with 360VR in the mainstream, VR Cafes are springing up. This solves the issue of the price of the VR Headsets and the price of the games all in one. Shunwang Technologies has more than 100,000 locations already across China.
They have taped into the exploding popularity with The Brookhaven Experiment, a viral zombie killing sensation. Justin Corcoran, the CEO of Phosphor Games Studio, the creators of The Brookhaven Experiment “We initially wanted to make the campaign mode first.” “Then after meeting the people at Shunwang, we decided to complete the endless mode first and released that into the Chinese market before ever finishing the full campaign version of the game.” This direct distributed model isn’t the same version as the one released in the west, with its endless survival mode you can just keep playing and playing. This adds to the game time (which is how the Cafes charge) and keeps players coming back for more.
Shunwang’s VR Platform Chief Content Officer, Sky Liu came across the game via a demo on Steam and reached out to the company. “Most of the games we find for cafes are from Western companies,” Liu stated. “VR is very new and not many people have experience developing VR games, especially in China. Compare the talents and expertise of the Western and Chinese markets and you’ll see China is very good at web and mobile games, but VR games require experience with AAA console and PC titles. Those are abilities that a lot of Chinese developers lack.”
Some reports have put this market potential at over $8 billion in revenues. There are companies that are heading towards construction VR theme parks. One thing is certain; VR has created a boom industry, especially in Asia.