The post-COVID era brings new opportunities for virtual reality companies as global consumer demand surges for upgraded hardware and enhanced user experience. STEPVR , a leading Chinese virtual reality company, is continuing to feed growing market demand, and their large-space VR arena Future Battlefield is expanding at a rapid rate.
Founded in 2013 in Beijing, STEPVR has set its sights on leading tens of millions of Chinese families into era of Metaverse with their VR products. Despite the spread of the Omicron variant across China leading to lockdowns in multiple cities, STEPVR says it has opened more than 140 franchise stores nationwide, with plans for another 200 in the near future.
Guo Cheng, founder and president of STEPVR, told AllTechAsia that the first big step for the commercialization of Metaverse depends on the development of VR esports.
VR business can be profitable
The global metaverse market size was US$ 63.83 billion, and projected to grow from US$ 100.27 billion in 2022 to USD 1.5 trillion by 2029, according to the latest estimates by market research company Fortune Business Insights.
A pioneer of the Chinese VR scene, STEPVR has raised millions of dollars in funding from known investors and VCs such as Sequoia China’s former founder Zhang Fan and Shanghai Guosheng Group. With a doctor’s degree from Netherlands STEPVR’s founder Guo Cheng has personally won industrial design prizes and is keen to lead the company with more technology innovations.
In the Chinese domestic market, it’s difficult for VR companies to make profits or to achieve fast growth. STEPVR has overtaken its opponents. To date, its Future Battlefield arena has established more than 200 cooperative franchise stores, across 80 cities in China, with millions of users with a steady growth.
Not only owning the highest number of VR sports stores, Future Battlefield has also set a world record of a single VR esports space with over 1,000 square meters. It is very rare that the arena allows users to play CS and MOBA tactical competitive games in its space.
The store space of Future Battlefield is expandable – it can be 50 square meters, 100 square meters, or 1,000 square meters, with the advantages of multiple people and multiple props. In the virtual world of the Future Battlefield, up to 40 players can compete in the same field, and they can touch and move around the spaces by touching door handles and elevator buttons to compete in a fully immersed state and enjoy the thrill of automatic running. This kind of excitement and realism is not found in traditional VR experiences, some players said.
Why Future Battlefield is different
In Future Battlefield, VR peripherals such as karts, tanks, and robotic arms can also be introduced to create diverse experiences such as driving, flying, and exploration in the virtual world for users. Industry experts in the VR esports business say that the challenge for the traditional VR products is that they often run out of content, and users easily get bored.
Future Battlefield’s themes can be continuously updated, and users can gain quick access to more themes such as escape room, script killing, theme park, and even more. Its ambition is to reshape the industry.
“Why can’t VR products achieve the great success of video games such as PUBG or ‘Honor of Kings’? It’s because no one dared to challenge the most difficult things.” Guo Cheng, CEO of STEPVR said, ” We want to make a new history.”
STEPVR core technology has been fueling its ambitious plans. Ever since its establishment nine years ago, STEPVR has developed a set of large space ultra-stable laser positioning technology and a motion capture technology sufficient enough to restore and match every movement of the user, to achieve millimeter-level accuracy and a 1:1 restoration of the virtual world. And there is no dizziness and distortion at all.
The third-generation product introduces robotic force feedback technology, which returns the real sense of the users. In the virtual world, using computers to help users restore vision, hearing, touch, smell and vestibular sensation is the goal that the company has tried to achieve from the beginning.
VR Gates – a gateway to OASIS
The next big step is to achieve infinite movement from large space VR competition to small space. Technically, an infinite virtual space can be mapped onto a confined real space.
“This month we will release a watershed product, VR Gates, as a gateway to Metaverse. It will be the world’s first product to commercialize the Metaverse with a one-step login into an immersive experience.” Guo said.
The product is equipped with the latest omnidirectional system, which allows users to run, move, touch and feel objects in an infinite space in a small space. It is equivalent to ‘moving’ the VR competitive experience of a large space to the home under the scene of VR Gates, he revealed.
Many may have seen the hit film, Ready Player One. In the immersive virtual universe, OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. That’s what STEPVR has the ambition to bring their users to OASIS through their innovative products.