With global revenues for virtual reality projected to reach over $7 billion by the end of 2017, it seems that this industry has a bright future ahead. In fact, according to a report by Greenlight Insights that number will total close to $75 billion by 2021.
Companies around the world compete for a stake in this burgeoning market, yet surprisingly, a small Scandinavian country has become one of the biggest players in the industry. Finland has become one of the most active virtual reality centric companies in recent years.
Despite the country’s small population of 5.4 million people, Finland headquarters some of the world’s biggest names in VR. Global companies like Rovio, Remedy, and Supercell all have headquarters in Finland. In addition, Finland’s Iceflake Studios creates games for computers, consoles, and mobile platforms with its biggest successes downloaded several million times. Meanwhile, in May 2017, Scandinavia’s first virtual reality park, the Pikseli Arcade, opened in Vantaa.
As the worldwide demand for VR increases, Finnish startups have played a major role, supplying technology to some of the biggest markets. That includes flourishing VR markets like China which is predicted to reach $8.5 billion in the coming years. In fact, many companies in Finland focus exclusively in VR. The country has no shortage of talent and the market continues to grow very quickly.
Looking to the future, VR has the potential to cross over into many industries in gaming and beyond. The two main categories for VR are mobile (Samsung/Google) and PC (Oculus). In Finland, the market for Android phones, Windows phones, and iPhones have become the most popular. Previously, the Oculus dominated the VR headset market, but the HTC Vive has started to catch up in popularity.
The VR headsets have certainly impacted the way people experience gaming, but specifically in the realm of online gambling. Gambling sites have started to develop VR casinos that players can experience in 3D by wearing a VR headset. Through the headset, players can explore the casino, sit down at tables, and play games like blackjack, roulette, slot machines, video poker, and poker all in high-quality 3D. Best of all, the games give the option for free play or to win real money. These online casinos also provide offers for online games so that players can cash in bonuses and bet risk-free.
The technology developed by many of the Finnish VR companies goes beyond just recreational markets. VR also has pushed forward the medical industry by providing 3D imaging for medical analysis. For example, companies like Teatime Research enable doctors to look at patient’s bone parts with all types of 3D data, CT scanning images, and MRI data.
Despite the fact that many Finnish VR companies remain in the early stages of growth, these developers have already made an impact. With the demand for VR increasing, the Finnish market is expected to get even bigger at the market expands even more.