A new report released by research company Superdata suggests that revenue from augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) will more than double over this year, though videogames will continue to earn the majority of software revenue.
According to the report, titled ‘Nowhere to Go But Up: The Future of XR’, 2017 marked the first year where AR and MR investment pulled ahead of virtual reality (VR), with the report further forecasting that trend will continue through until 2021. Investments in immersive technology grew 40% over 2017, with 51% of total invested going towards AR and MR.
The data shows that the majority of revenue generated by VR software will continue to come from VR videogames, with a predicted 58% of software revenue being produced by videogames, since customers remain reluctant to pay for non-gaming VR entertainment.
The report notes that the top immersive entertainment earners in 2017 came from Bethesda, with Fallout 4 VR and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR topping charts on PlayStation VR and PC VR platforms. DOOM VFR has a slightly less impressive release, but nonetheless was one of the most successful immersive titles of 2017, with Bethesda RPGs topping the charts.
With successful AR products such as Pokemon Go raising interest in AR technology after making $1.8 billion (USD) since launch, and the upcoming release of the Magic Leap headset causing significant levels of interest from consumers and industry, the forecast is for a continued upward trend in AR and MR products.
Superdata are predicting that Mobile AR titles will continue to be the primary driver for revenue through until 2021, earning approximately twice the revenue acquired by AR and MR headsets. This is partially the result of the cost of the AR/MR hardware, which will likely remain out of reach of the majority of the general population.