How to enter the VR market

Making a virtual reality app is not exactly a simple process and requires a high level of technical knowledge.

When someone actually completes the app, of course, it is beyond rewarding and comes with a huge sense of relief. However, making an app or an experience is only half of the real battle: The other half is completely submerged in the process of breaking in and succeeding in the VR market.

Like any platform, virtual reality comes with its own set of principles in regards to how an app becomes successful. What works in VR is not simply the best looking or the most dazzling. Instead, the VR market is focused on how the application feels and what it does to the person using it. This makes it a little bit different compared to traditional application development.

In fact, the crux of a successful VR app is its user experience and technological power: From a design perspective, UX is the only thing that truly matters in the virtual reality space.

Developing your product

Take, for instance, Job Simulator, a game which puts you in the role of a museum visitor from a distant robot-controlled future who takes on (poorly-researched) jobs that humans are believed to have done in the past.

Courtesy Job Simulator developer Owlchemy Labs.

The premise alone is funny enough, but what makes the game so entertaining is the experience it provides. Moving around and interacting with everything at your cubicle, which resembles an office but is just off-kilter enough, is such a unique experience that it completely engrosses the player.

Once a developer has clearly defined their user experience and implemented it well, then it’s time to make sure that it can be used on all of the headsets available for the VR system. The PlayStation VR is currently the most popular, followed by PC headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Once that is complete, it is time to break into the market.

Bringing it to market

Marketing a virtual reality application is somewhat difficult as it is not yet a ubiquitous technology, so the traditional methods of marketing are typically ineffective. The best way to advertise is through word of mouth – logging into VR-based forums and presenting your product to users, or uploading it to the various platforms available for virtual reality applications, such as Steam or the PlayStation Store.

In both cases, the most important part of your marketing plan is exposure. Since VR applications are risky, mainly because the technology can be wonky at times, it is important for a business to present some sort of demonstration or downloadable trial.

As stated above, the user experience is really what sells in virtual reality, carrying games like Job Simulator no matter how ridiculous the premise. In fact, the current virtual reality market seems more than responsive to humor and abstract ideas. There are very few definitions of what makes a “hit” and everything seems to be on the table.There is little point in creating a unique virtual reality experience if you will not do everything in your power to give it a unique voice and identity. Take full advantage of virtual reality’s infancy and use any method you can think of to make people aware of not only your application but your business as well.

We are in a time where most virtual reality applications can, and will be, published on the market places available to them. Then, of course, when all of that is finished, you’ll be able to jump right into your next project and ride the wave of technological progress for as long as you can.

Ellie Martin
Ellie Martin
Ellie Martin is co-founder of Startup Change group. Her works have been featured on Yahoo!, Wisebread, AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel. You may connect with her on Twitter at @EllieMartin120.

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