Toronto-based CreamVR hopes its latest virtual reality executions will help migrate users to the technology, which has struggled to establish a foothold amongst consumers.
The company premiered its Fear Thy Neighbour Virtual Reality Experience in Canada this week, timed to coincide with the season four premiere of the TV series on Investigation Discovery.
It’s also launched its own free-to-use CreamVR app, which is available for iOS, Android and Gear VR platforms and where all of its 360-degree videos are available to watch.
CreamVR launched in 2015 and is led by CEO David Brady. To date, the six-person operation has released 20 VR experiences, including companion experiences for Travel Channel and OLN’s Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan.
VR is a long game for Brady, who admits that the tech, content and business case must all develop in tandem. And while adoption has been slower to pick up than hoped for — with less than seven-million headsets shipped worldwide, according to the latest estimates — the end goal for Brady is to create a more direct-to-consumer content model that could help drive business results.
First, though, there needs to be an audience. Brady believes 360 video experiences like Fear Thy Neighbour and Wild Things are important cross-over content that can bring new users — fans of a particular show or personality — to virtual reality.
“We’re going to cross a wider-net with the crossover content,” Brady told realscreen‘s sister publication Playback Daily. “Ultimately we need to find really cool content that will bring people into VR, once we have them there, technologies will change, the storytelling will change and they’ll come along with us.”
The goal is to attract audiences to VR through these free companion pieces, get them interested in the experiences, he said, and then create additional standalone experiences for purchase.
To that end, the prodco recently received CMF coin to develop another VR experience with Dominic Monaghan. A Curious Mind, a science-based interactive experience, explores mankind’s theories about life and the universe.
“You can recreate the world’s craziest, brave experiments like Herschel’s discovery of infrared light in an 18th century German manor,” explained Cream creative director Andrew MacDonald. It’s an experience that will appeal to both gamers and science fans, added Brady.
Brady said the exciting thing about VR is the opportunity to create direct-to-consumer content. Rather than making a program for a network that sells it to viewers, CreamVR will be able to create content for sale through its own platforms.
“[Standalone experiences don't] affect the traditional business models with broadcasters, because broadcasters can’t broadcast them to you. This kind of item would sit in the Apple Store, the Sony store, the Steam store, and you’d buy it,” added MacDonald.