Virtual reality game market gains traction ahead of Apple’s headset release

2023.05.22 10:45:02 | 2023.05.22 12:19:20

Com2uS Corp.’s “Dark Sword,” a VR action role-playing game [Photo provided by Com2uS]이미지 확대

Com2uS Corp.’s “Dark Sword,” a VR action role-playing game [Photo provided by Com2uS]

The global virtual reality (VR) game market is gaining traction amid new releases ahead of Apple Inc.’s introduction of a mixed-reality (MR) headset next month.

According to the information technology (IT) industry on Sunday, global companies such as Meta Platforms Inc., Pico Inc., and Epic Games Inc. introduced VR games at the GDC Expo held on the sidelines of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023 in the U.S. in March.

The global VR game market is expected to reach $3.2 billion in 2024, up from $500 million in 2019, according to game market data tracker Newzoo.

The VR game market is still small compared with that of mobile and personal computers but competition is heating up given the great potential of the Apple ecosystem that will be created with the tech giant’s new product.

Korean game publishers are also jumping on the bandwagon.

Com2uS Corp. showcased “Dark Sword,” a VR action role-playing game (RPG) based on a dark fantasy world, through its subsidiary Com2uS ROCA in February.

The game topped the paid app chart after its release in the Chinese VR content platform PICO Store. Com2uS will release Dark Sword also in Meta Quest Store this year to expand its service to the U.S., Canada, and Japan.

Smilegate Holdings Inc. ’s “Crossfire” [Photo provided by Smilegate]이미지 확대

Smilegate Holdings Inc. ’s “Crossfire” [Photo provided by Smilegate]

Smilegate Holdings Inc. plans to release a new VR game, “Crossfire: Sierra Squad,” based on its flagship intellectual property (IP) Crossfire in the second half of this year. It is a shooting game that supports reality features such as headset vibration and eye tracking.

Skonec Entertainment Co. will release a VR room escape game “Room Escape Online” this year.

The company is also jointly developing “Strike Rush,” a VR first-person shooter (FPS) game, in collaboration with Meta. Devsisters Corp. is also developing a VR adventure game “Project Q” using its Cookie Run IP.

Currently, mobile games are the mainstream globally.

According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, the global mobile game market is worth $107.37 billion as of 2022, accounting for 47.4 percent of the entire game market.

Games using consoles accounted for 23.2 percent, PCs 17.3 percent, and arcades 12.1 percent, which indicates little presence of VR games.

The release of new VR products, in particular, slowed on the worsening outlook for metaverse industry after the pandemic. Expectations, nevertheless, are rising that the Apple MR headset will be a game changer in the VR game industry.

Apple is expected to unveil an MR headset tentatively named “Reality Pro,” which can deliver VR and augmented reality (AR) content, at the Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that will be held as early as June 5. The product has been ambitiously developed over seven years as the next-generation device to succeed iPhones.

Apple is also expected to release VR and AR apps for the MR headset in its app store. The company’s goal is to sell 900,000 units in the first year of release, according to sources.

By Kim Dae-gi and Choi Jieun

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper &, All rights reserved]