HTC China President Alvin Wang Graylin tweeted recently that Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One (2018) is projected to have a “significantly positive impact” on VR adoption in China this year.

Graylin presented a few supporting slides this past week during a talk at a tech conference held by iQIYI, a company commonly dubbed ‘The Chinese Nexflix’. Citing a China VR Market Survey from April 2018, Graylin maintains that Chinese movie-goers who watched Ready Player One account for around a 20% increase in desire to own or upgrade to a VR system over people who haven’t seen RPO.

Image courtesy HTC

To put this in perspective, Ready Player One’s US release garnered around $135 million domestically, a respectable number for any summer sci-fi flick—twice as much as Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) earned in the US, which released only a week earlier. China alone made up nearly half of Ready Player One’s gross worldwide earnings, which DeadLine reports account for more than $200 million of the ~$500 million gross box office numbers.

If 'Ready Player One' Doesn't Suck, It Stands to Positively Impact the VR Industry

As an official sponsor of Ready Player One, HTC put out several RPO-themed VR mini-games to promote the film, available in VR arcades across China, and through Viveport and Steam for VR users at home.

So while Google Trends doesn’t show a significant search increase for VR during the film’s heyday in March, it appears both HTC and the film itself have better mobilized movie-goers in China for the future of VR.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Guygasm

    Wow. That’s some shit statistics usage. Alternate interpretation; people who are interested in VR more likely to watch a VR movie. Amazing! Are there any legitimate slides you didn’t show?

    • JJ

      yupp, even if they were correct, its jut stating the extreme obvious. Oh people payed to see a vr themed movie, oh and nw they want vr, What a surprise!? The greatest of all great prophets couldn’t even put that together

      • VRfun

        Might have been a litte better if they asked derivative questions. Or, maybe something like specificity for the person they are asking. A couple went, ask a question that pertains to the person that isn’t typically interested. Say my wife and I go to the movies and see Ready Player One. Well, my wife could careless but she goes with me. Ask her questions that would be more telling than this write-up. A lot of people who saw the movie and took a date or another person would be better suited to ask. Most people who were willingly going to the movie would like Syfy, techie stuff, or just VR in general or were already a lot more open-minded to the large adoption of the tech. This needs more in-depth research. Kind of a crap article sorry guys! Love you but this was kind of lazy writing.

    • Gato Satanista

      “people who are interested in VR more likely to watch a VR movie. “…. I don’t think that is the case here. It’s a Spielberg movie. People watch Spielberg movies, VR or not.

    • No, they asked them questions about buying a VR headset, then made some of them watch RPO and did the same questions again.

      • Guygasm

        Hence why I asked about other slides/information. Didn’t see anything from the OPs tweet. Did you attend or where are you getting this info from? Thx

  • NooYawker

    I’m sure more people would be excited if they made some VR clips for
    actual VR users. They OASIS beta thing they put out is a big meh.

    • JJ

      yeah tons of gimmicky stuff. Like the clips of them running with headsets on haha. Plus I understand like superimposing awesome graphics on avatars and scenes to be more vibrant or colorful as a person in an oasis, buuuut by the time we have this kind of tech, we can have cgi that looks identical to real life and sooo much better than waht was in the movie. Maybe its just me but if we have insane graphics and options, my character isnt gona look like a cartoon cgi character. This kind of annoyed me the whole film. Why would they dumb down graphics to such a low level if tech is that far.

      Answer: thats as good as our cgi is at this time, so thats all the movie could show.

      Same with the obsession over other games and characters stopping at the year 2018 -.- doesn’t makes sense in the context of the movie that they stopped there, but makes sense in the producing of the movie. They dont know what tomorrows favorite super hero is gona be so they cant just guess.

  • sfmike

    Too bad it didn’t make an impact on sales here as we could really use one. I’m worried investment money will pull out of VR soon and then it’s on to the next thing.

    • Bruce Banner

      I think it’s already got a strong enough foothold not to fold anytime soon. This current wave of consumer VR’s only been out since 2016, and although triple A games are still slim, it takes at least 2 years to make a high end title, and can cost millions of dollars, depending on the level of production involved. Seeing how Sega’s trial at VR failed in the 90’s, they needed to see that the market was there before committing both their time and money. The PSVR alone sold 915,000 units in it’s first 4 months, and more than 2,000,000 units in just over a year. They’ve also sold 12.2 million PSVR games since 2016. That alone shows the devs that VR is definitely going to stick around. The guys that created Lone Echo and Echo Arena are about to release Echo Combat, and the guys who created Arizona Sunshine have a new game in the works as well. Then you also have the hardware side of things which is about to see drastic improvements over the next year or so. The next PSVR is supposed to have a 1001 dpi panel created specifically for VR. The Vive Pro is 615. Google and LG are coming out with a headset that has 1443 dpi that they’re showing at Display Week starting Monday. There’s also those haptic gloves Oculus is working on, and even the Teslasuit. Hell.. they even have a bidirectional treadmill like in Ready Player One. :p I think we’re just seeing the beginning of the VR explosion about to come. It’s still quite new, but it’s definitely picking up steam. Even console gaming was slow in the beginning.

  • Xodroc

    Hmm, a movie about reality sucking so much that everyone turns to VR for escapism. Yep, great reason to buy.

  • The government and HTC have made a great job in advertising RPO in China: it has been a true success there, while in the rest of the world it has just been a good movie.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Now on 8K Shitmax!

  • Because there people watch 3D normally, even TV shows and streaming services are available in 3D (and there are some good 3D smartphones with 3D streaming services like my ZTE Axon 7 Max)…
    Watching this movie in 2D does not convince anybody to use VR, but seeing in 3D as if you wear the headset (obviously without liberty to look anywhere you want) does