Technology moves fast and so does the gaming industry, which has recently introduced the latest virtual reality (VR) tech. It has only been few years since the idea of virtual reality seemed a distant concept to reach yet, today, with the release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive devices, it has already started taking shape, expanding beyond games and into the entertainment industry at large.
In fact, virtual reality tech seems to be moving towards a type of interactive cinema, creating simulated 3D worlds through special goggles and transporting the players to virtual environments. According to the independent publisher Raconteur, we are going to experience movies and games like Star Wars, Gran Turismo, Game of Thrones, and Final Fantasy through a different spectrum, since ‘all are getting the VR treatment in one form or another’ sooner than we expect it.
What might be the case is that we will experience a whole new form of entertainment made specifically for virtual reality, taking perhaps the format of a hybrid model that combines interaction and storytelling in a new way. As a matter of fact, movies will not necessarily be replaced, though it is possible that VR will help the industry find a common ground with gaming.
In practice, virtual reality is already following a path of success in video games, which are greatly influenced by the entertainment industry, as the Hollywood factor seems to appeal to a wider audience. Essentially, creating various games themed to a movie has always been a popular choice for developers, drawing individuals into new and familiar worlds, allowing them to experience it near at hand, and being at the centre of the adventure.
For example, Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie of Jurassic Park has already transferred into the VR gaming niche, offering a unique experience to players, which can enter the jungle and meet or even ride dinosaurs. In a similar vein, the iGaming industry takes on this challenge by introducing games and online slots based on renowned movies. For example, the online casino Slots.io has a five-reel Hellboy slot that tasks the player with finding the Relic of Power, as well as titles based on Jurassic World, Tomb Raider, and Game of Thrones.
Microgaming, the developer behind these games, has signed a licencing agreement with Universal for the creation of such slots, following the release of the movie Jurassic World in the summer of 2015 and its huge success in becoming the fourth-highest-grossing movie of all time. There is no doubt that a hit like that would affect the traditional gaming industry as well, creating attractive environments for players and keeping players at the cutting edge of technology.
Along these lines, it is clear how game developers attempt to relate with their audience, finding inspiration from movies and turning them into interactive experiences. In any case, this practice seems to work for the benefit of the virtual reality industry, which, in the UK, is expected to grow at a faster rate than any other entertainment and media industry from 2016-2021.