Industry reports compiled by insiders rather than analysts have special value in the tech world. They can help to predict trends, tell the current status of the market, and even give some insight into the thought processes that take place on the inside of the industry. The first annual VR/AR Innovation Report, presented by participants in November's upcoming Virtual Reality Developers Conference, is just such a report. The UBM Game Network, in cooperation with Gamasutra, spoke to 500 developers in the VR and AR spaces about their experiences and opinions, which resulted in a fairly comprehensive report that, like any insider report, gives a great look inside the VR industry and lets consumers in on some trends that could influence buying decisions or even job searches, if you happen to be seeking employment in the field.
Some of the interesting things to note within just the first few pages of the report are actually quite revealing. For starters, a lot of developers are currently developing for the HTC Vive and plan to have their next game on that platform as well. Since most respondents said that their next title will not be exclusive to any one platform, the fact that developers are flocking to the Vive seems to imply that it's the easiest system to develop for. This is despite the fact that Google's Daydream system is on the survey, and is compatible with Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, two of the most common game development tools in use today. Despite this, Daydream has only garnered 14.6% of current development, and only 3.7% of developers surveyed said that they planned their next title for Daydream, tying it in that regard with PlayStation VR.
The report brought up another rather telling point, and that is that most developers are actually paying out of pocket and using their own free time and resources to develop their masterpieces. To be precise, this was 49.7% of survey respondents. This means that the indie scene in VR is likely just as strong as the AAA scene will be, if not stronger. A number of developers named a few of the biggest barriers to VR mass adoption, with nausea, pricing, and a lack of any really compelling content to sell systems being the three biggest complaints at the moment. Nausea is something that developers also said they are personally grappling with in their products. The report rounded out by asking respondents to name an example of a great VR or AR application out right now, and the vast majority cited Budget Cuts, a unique stealth game that lets you hide and use a handheld portal to view and warp to a destination during gameplay, followed closely by Google's unique Tilt Brush for the HTC Vive.