Gaming platform for an emersive experience
Wintersemester 2019 - Oktagone
Our project was about turning the idea of a sciencepreneur into a solid foundation for a start-up. This idea relates to improving movement control in VR, particularly VR gaming. To create a solid foundation, we prepared a detailed business plan, a pitch deck, a market entry strategy as well as a validation of the idea through interviews with users and experts in the field of VR.
We worked together with Stefan Dullnigg on his idea of the Oktagone, a mat that would allow virtual reality gamers to control their avatar with their feet. Such a mat would be one of the first well-functioning products on the market for home VR control options and additionally solve the wide-spread problem of motion sickness. The founder brought a first finished prototype and a draft for a business plan into the project.
Key Research Questions
We identified several research questions which we wanted to answer in the course of the project.
The first category of questions was user-related: Who are the lead users? What are the main problems for VR gamers? What is the typical customer journey of a VR gamer? Is the Oktagone actually required by VR gamers? (problem-solution fit)
The second category of questions was market-related: What are the main competitors and what advantages does the Oktagone have compared to them? What is the relevant market (definition and size)?
The third category of questions was more product-related: With which VR games should the Oktagone be compatible? What are the different options for producing a prototype and how much does it cost? What are alternative application areas for the Oktagone?
In order to answer the beforementioned research questions, several steps were taken. First of all, we identified lead users by visiting VR gaming halls and VR meetups as well as posting in social media groups and on blogs. Next, to answer questions related to VR gamers' behaviour, their needs and pain points, as well as problem-solution fit, we carried out and analysed 26 interviews with identified experts and other VR users. Analysis of Youtube videos, reviews, statistics and competitors' websites helped discern competitors' advantages and allowed to identify the main games the Oktagone should be compatible with. To determine the relevant market and its size, in-depth market research combined with a top-down approach were applied. Research on manufacturers in Austria and abroad and sending them requests via e-mail helped find the cost of different modes and locations of production for the next prototype as well as mass production. Moreover, research on future trends and the macro environment revealed further application areas.
Our research suggests that the Oktagone would solve various problems VR gamers currently have, particularly VR sickness, high price of comparable products and bad immersion. Our market research suggests that the Oktagone can enter a market worth € 7.1 million and could reach a break-even point in Q4 2021. The market entry strategy would be to enter by creating traction at VR meetups and gaming halls or fairs, as well as by using social media marketing and influencers to spread the idea of the Oktagone. Furthermore, contacting manufacturers showed that the ideal production location is China, where prices are lower than in Austria. Next steps include patenting, finding a programmer and quality assurance of prototypes.
Mag. Stefan Dullnigg