Gaming industry in The Netherlands
Gaming is a massive industry in the Netherlands right now. There are approximately 330 games companies located in The Netherlands that together brings roughly 3,000 jobs. In 2011 the turnover of the industry has reached 150-225 million euros. It shows that, there is a rapid growth in the industry without any signs of slowing down (Evelien Boshove, 2013).
According to Deloitte Netherlands on their market study on Dutch gaming industry, the growth of Dutch games markets are mainly comes from social, mobile and portal gaming. However, the consoles might take over the majority of the market with the new generations of gaming consoles (Deloitte, 2011)
Furthermore, the development of Virtual Reality in The Netherland is growing quite rapidly. Right now, there are approximately 30 VR companies in the Netherlands and they are highly concentrated in the content creation or the end of the supply chain. This growing number of start-up company is also because of the support of the government. For example, Dutch government has recently instituted the start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs (Bozorgadeh, 2016). This visa scheme, of course, will directly or in-directly affect the growth of the Dutch gaming industry in the future.
According to Newzoo around 8 million Dutch citizens play video games occasionally. Out of these 8 million gamers, 6.9 million game on the computer, 4.9 million game on their phone, 2.8 million play on smaller consoles like the PSP, 4.3 play on consoles and 1.1 million use all four different platforms (Musters, 2013). Out of all 13 to 19 year olds who play video games, 95% are boys and 85% are girls and they spend an average of 10 and 4 h per week. In a study from 2013, there were 373 participants. According to the study, 47% had access to a Wii, 95% had access to a PC at home, 52% to a PlayStation and 23% to an Xbox (Simons, 2013).
The current situation and the future of VR in the gaming industry
The trends of the industry has undergone a rapid change lately, Virtual Reality or VR has entered the market and it is successfully attracted the gamers who used to consoles. There is nothing unusual about this shifting of the trends; as technology has progressed, gamers tend to move to another technology that can enhance the gaming experience, by means of new gaming concepts and appealing graphic. Virtual Reality is not a completely new player in the gaming industry, many attempts have been made to penetrate the market but none of them was successful. But VR companies is different right now, they have a huge supporting capitals on their backs. Oculus Rift for example, was started as a kick-starter campaign until Facebook purchased them in March 2014 for some $400 million and $1.6 billion in stock (Morris, 2014). With this huge capital they have, allowing the company to explore the technology even more and selling their product to broader audience. Other big companies has also stepping their way into VR industry; such as, HTC with HTC VIVE and SONY with SONY’s Playstation VR, which will hook into Playstation 4.
The future of VR is also interesting to see. Because the hype of VR is quite new in the market, therefore there are many possibilities can happen. However, a recent study from Futuresource Consulting found that 39% from 3,000 consumers in The U.S. and Western Europe were most attracted in watching TV or experiencing VR movies, followed closely by games with 38%, TV/Music video 27%, educational content 26% and sports 26%. Same study also predicted that by 2020 the VR content market could reach $8.3 billion (Baumgartner, 2016). Moreover, according to Business Insider, the VR headset shipments will be growing at a 99 percent CAGR between 2015 and 2020, reaching $30 billion by that end date.
The obstacles of VR into entering the industry
However, the idea of a screen strapped into your face might not sound appealing for some people. Some even linked it to the health and safety issue, research has found that VR can cause motion sickness, such as seizures, loss of awareness, eyestrain and nausea (Lewis, 2015). It is even stated on the Samsung Gear VR disclaimer that, “Prolonged use should be avoided, as this could negatively impact hand-eye coordination, balance and multitasking ability.”
Other than that, the price point of VR is also an obstacle of them into entering the market. The available VR in the market now on sale for $599, therefore the market is seeing VR as a “premium product”. VR is only a supporting console to enhance the faming experience, meaning VR should be used together with other gaming consoles. This is the main problem for VR company; for example, gamers who spends more then $2,300 on a high-end PC will need to pay 600$ for one Oculus Rift VR, this will be just too much for most of gamers. With the big capitals backing them up now, they should rethink their premium price point (Handova, 2016).