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By Tom Ffiske // 30 September 2020
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I started tweeting about Bake Off a lot recently, and lost a few followers. They didn't like my half-baked jokes.
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The Big Story

Let's talk about subscription services. Viveport turned four recently, and HTC has done well to raise it's small baby into a relatively stable child. The anniversary got me thinking about subscription services; does it have a future in our industry, compared to films or console gaming? 

Subscription services are trendy right now. Streaming companies are littering the internet as companies scramble for a bigger slice of their pies. Margins are razor-thin, but Netflix and Disney+ are doing very well. But because of the cost differentials and barriers of entry, comparing films to VR is difficult. 

The video games industry is more interesting as a point of comparison. Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media for $7.5bn, owning properties like Doom, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls. Commentators rightly pointed out that it's a competitive move against Sony. It is... at least, for the short and medium-term. In the long-run, the move is to help compete against Google and Amazon who are running their own streaming services; since Microsoft owns the IPs, the company controls where the games appear. Microsoft is preparing for a streaming future by becoming the go-to place to play certain games, gaining an edge over the big G and A. By comparison, both Google and Amazon are working hard to make their own exclusive IPs. (It would not surprise me if Activision Blizzard, or a part of it, is sold to either of them in the next three years). 

How does this link to VR? I think Viveport has some legs, providing some amazing content for a great price. It's certainly more progressive than Oculus. But the difference is content; the ecosystem lacks the sheer scale and volume of games that would make a subscription service valuble, or the cheap headsets to make it accessible. But as soon as that happens, HTC will be laughing as it moves its fat stacks of cash to the bank. 

Other Stories
Got a news story? Let me know at tom (at) virtualperceptions (dot) com.
  • SideQuest raises $650K from BoostVC, Palmer Luckey, and The Fund.
    • A lot of people see a more open approach to VR as beneficial, and I don't blame them. 
    • I spoke to the founder of SideQuest some time ago, and he described his relationship with Oculus as 'very positive'. He didn't mention it included the founder of Oculus as well! 
  • VR/AR Global Summit starts today. 
    • Click here to join and check it out. 
    • I am also speaking at the event, though I messed up my recording; I will not be taking about immersive tech and the pandemic, I will be talking about ethics. Whoops! 🤷
  • Microsoft has selected Avatar Dimension as a tech partner.
    • The company will be the exclusive licensee for its volumetric capture technology in the Washington, D.C. area. Congrats
  • Please welcome 2Immersive4U to the immersive community! 
    • The company specialises in 360-degree music videos, and their first product is the Reactor5 music video
    • Welcome! 🥂
  • Project Spyglass - a retail AR project - is ready. 
    • Spyglass is a 3-week AR proof of concept (POC), designed to help demystify skincare products in a retail and home setting. If you have the time, print it out and check it out for yourself. 
  • Related to AR, I adore the vibe of Day of the Dead. 
    • Upshot Agency worked with Groove Jones to create an AR experience for Constellation Brands’  Victoria Dia De Los Muertos campaign. It looks fantastic. 
  • Ultraleap has been added to CMC ViewR network
    • The company integrated Leap Motion within their solution, which lets people interact with 3D data. Nifty
  • Oasis VR Inc., a social space, is now available on mobile devices.
    • Smart move, as it covers as many bases as possible. Still, the VR version would be much better than their mobile counterparts. 
    • Also, getting really bored with the number of companies / people who use 'Oasis' as a term for VR socialising. It comes across as lazy and derivative rather than progressive. 
  • VR platforms are being used to connect isolated seniors with others. 
    • As one example, Rendever brought its EnvisionHom platform to senior living communities and hospice providers in the USA, letting people run VR-based tours with families during the pandemic. 
  • Finally, I am available for hire after 19 October. 
    • If you're looking to hire a strategist, reach more people, and need someone who is specialised in PR for VR or AR, then hit me up and let's chat! 
Jobs Board
QA Associate Tester – PC & Console Games Publisher - London - Find out more. 
360 Programmer – Immersive Studio – 100% Remote - Find out more. 
 
UX Developer – Creative Immersive Studio – Amsterdam - Find out more.
Technical Artist – Immersive Studio – London - Find out more.
Senior Graphics Engineer – Immersive Studio – 100% Remote - Find out more.
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That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Either reply to this email, or contact tom (at) virtualperceptions (dot) com. Have an excellent day! 

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