Virtual reality is, without a doubt, a “next-level” form of digital entertainment. Although its return to the spotlight was bumpy, with prohibitive prices and a general lack of quality content. It was a vicious circle – with no content to drive VR headset sales up, there was no incentive for the sales to grow… and with small sales, developers preferred not to dedicate too much effort and resources to the creation of quality content.
This seems to be changing as we speak, as VR headset sales are continuously growing, and the number of high-quality games and experiences growing with it. But, unfortunately, this came too late to save these projects from going down the drain.
Microgaming’s “VR Casino”
Microgaming, the developer behind the game library at the JackpotCity Casino – and countless others – was quick to jump on the possibilities offered by virtual reality, creating its own take on the matter: a fully-fledged VR casino experience meant for the JackpotCity and other similar outlets. The project was showcased at the 2015 ICE Totally Gaming fair and quickly earned the year’s highest award for innovation – and the excitement of countless players hoping to give it a try “in the wild”.
Unfortunately, the project never moved beyond the “showcase” state, even though it was perfectly polished and ready to use six years ago.
Google Tilt Brush
Google is well-known for the many exciting projects it started and abandoned over the years, ranging from its smart glasses (Google Glass) to its modular smartphone and balloon-powered internet. The latest in the row of abandoned Google projects is Tilt Brush, an innovative VR painting app that the Mountain View giant has pulled the plug on this January.
Tilt Brush would’ve been a virtual reality-based 3D painting program with multiplayer features and the ability to export artwork to be used in animation.
This January, Google took its hands off the program, opening up its source and publishing it on GitHub, placing the further development of the service (as well as the support) into the hands of the community.
Finally, let us mention a truly ambitious project that could’ve become the real world’s Oasis (the VR social network showcased in the successful movie Ready Player One. The project was called “Sansar” and was developed by Linden Lab, the people behind the successful social network Second Life.
Sansar was very promising, with features ranging from parties and concerts to vendors, games, and art – unfortunately, it seems that it wasn’t meant to be. Linden Lab gave up on the idea, selling Sansar to San Francisco-based tech company, Wookey Project Corp and choosing to focus its effort on Second Life instead.