Future Plans for Manga VRMMORPG
One of the most popular gaming genres on the internet today is Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games or MMORPG. Since the late 1990's up to the present, gamers worldwide have been playing online RPG and getting themselves immersed by the awesome game worlds offered and delivered by these gaming services.
With the birth of mobile gaming and the advancement of it, the demand for online RPG has continued on through the past few years. But although gamers are able to tap into and experience a variety of worlds with settings from Medieval Fantasy to Science Fiction, the limitations of interacting through a screen (be it a PC monitor or that of a mobile device) has hindered an as near a realistic experience as one can get. But then, with the advent of the VR technology that we have today, things are starting to get interesting and better.
Probably the most popular theme found in MMORPG games is fantasy and magic. Somehow fighting one's opponents by casting magic spells and with the help of strange weaponry and uncanny abilities and coupled with adventuring, one can see why such games are so popular and have such a strong effect in pulling players into the game. But then, wouldn't it be better to experience all of these in a first-hand realistic virtual world. Fighting a dragon on screen would definitely pale to fighting a dragon just a few feet in front of you. The potential for VR to deliver MMORPG experiences (again, in a near realistic as possible way) is immensely huge.
To this, present-day game companies are starting to develop MMORPGs for VR and a good example of this is Ilysia VR being developed by Team 21 Studio based in Aiken, South Carolina. The game is a 3D VR romp into a fighting medieval magical fantasy realm which will give a gamer the experience of what it's like to be inside an actual MMORPG game. Based on the demo and Alpha of the game, Ilysia VR is awesome and will give one a pretty good idea of the future of MMORPG gaming. Note however that Team 21 is not the only game company engaged in the development of this new trend in gaming so it looks like things are going to get very interesting as the industry moves forward.
Another very popular genre when it comes to video games is Japanese Manga. Not to mention all the animated shows throughout the years from Gigantor and AstroBoy (back in the late 60's-early '70s) to Naruto today, Manga has jumped from comics to books to anime and even to the cosplaying real world. Somehow, Manga characters seem to appeal more to the younger generation and even older veteran Otakus in Japan and around the globe. To this, many game companies are and have invested in Manga oriented game worlds. Manga or Anime is an art style on its own and its popularity is usually found wherever printed or video mediums are in massive use.
miHoYo is a China-based company that has been developing mobile games since 2011 of which their most popular games are manga-based online MMORPGs. miHoYo's strength is in the mobile gaming market and the company has netted profits at around 800M USD and currently has as many as 2400 employees spread across China, South Korea, Japan, and Canada. Recently, the company has released its latest online MMORPG offering Genshin Impact which it is aggressively marketing at the present.
miHoYo has great plans for the Genshin Impact to turn it into a global massive VR game for around 1billion users by 2030. Development costs for the conversion of the game to VRMMORPG is budgeted at around 100-200M USD just to start and approximately around 200M USD per year for continual development. At first glance, one would think that Genshin Impact is another Japanese video game as it is fully Manga based and targeted at the Otaku gaming market. However, despite the game being created by a Chinese company, it is mostly a collaboration between Japanese Manga animators and Chinese game software development.
At present, miHoYo's performance by current gaming industry standard is doing great as it is the third highest when it comes to earnings globally in the mobile gaming market in both Google Play and the IOS App Store. With this, the company is investing heavily in this project and has recently collaborated with KFC fried chicken to promote the game in China. MiHoYo intends to create the VR experience in Manga 3D graphics style as well.
Aside from the development of this long-term project, miHoYo has also partnered with the Shanghai University and Brain Center as well as Ruijin hospital to develop a VR-based neural therapy to treat depression. AI-generated sound technology is also currently in the works.
Genshin Impact is not the only RPG game that has huge potential in VR. Another one is the Japanese game Sword Art Online, one of the most promising and premiere Anime based MMORPG in Japan developed by Asuki Media Wakusu known today as ASCII Media Works. The game follows the adventures of Kirigaya Kazuto, a VR cyber beta tester who finds himself trapped in a VR Fantasy World where mastering the art of sword fighting is a necessity to survive. Operating since 2008, the company publishes books, computer magazines as well as Manga and video games. The main and strongest market is the Japanese Otaku crowd. However, like most Japan made productions, the usual limitations of the use of English are once again showing themselves to be a huge hindrance in propagating the game.
As of now, the coin seems to be up in the air and spinning as time will tell which development and art style will capture the near future VRMMORPG market. Definitely, Fantasy-based games are going to figure out prominently as far as RPG games are concerned. The possibility of establishing a globally accessible VR-based MMORPG service that could reach a billion users is possible but as a game industry writer, it would be safer to say that this billion users would be spread out among several competitive gaming services by the year 2030. Having a monopoly would prove to be very difficult as your neighbor may be doing something similar to what you are planning. Competition brings out the best in products and services.
As for VR Manga, that would be a really interesting development. Manga art is typically 2D or even 2.5D in appearance and characteristics. Converting this to 3D in a VR environment will take some work, creativity, and development to make it a possibility. As to how it will look is something for speculation at this current time. To that, let's just wait and see.