To say that VR is one of the most important new industries in China this year, no one may object. But if the domestic VR industry is developing well, few people will recognize it. From the hot pursuit at the beginning of the year to the depression at the end of the year, the domestic VR industry has gone through a roller coaster-like development path.
The biggest news of the domestic VR industry this year is the massive layoffs of Storm Mirror. Judging from the news, "the Storm Mirror team is almost squatting and layoffs are completed within a week." The speed of layoffs and the large number of layoffs have all shocked the industry.
Many people think that 2016 is the first year of VR. In fact, we have not seen much good news from domestic related companies. Instead, we have the storm mirror of "China's mobile phone VR box leader" but "waist" ourselves. Team. The first year of such a depressed scene casts a shadow over the prospects of the VR industry.Many corporate scandals are plagued, the status quo of the VR industry is worrying
According to reports, the proportion of layoffs at the end of the storm is between 40-50%, which means that the team of 500 people has cut at least 200 people. An operating employee even commented with a smile: "The entire 17th floor of the True Building is almost half empty." Although the storm mirror issued an open letter explaining that it was mainly internal adjustment, nearly half of the layoff rate was obviously explained by this explanation. pale and weak.
However, fortunately, from the reaction status of most employees, the layoffs of Stormwind Mirror are friendly cancellations. Although the amount of compensation for layoffs is not high, it is still normal. But the employees of other VR companies are not so lucky.
When the news of the storm mirror cuts was exposed, Mido Entertainment, which was hailed as the benchmark of Entertainment VR, also reported negative news about wage arrears. Previously, the company had received a round of angel financing of tens of millions of yuan, with a valuation of more than 100 million. Knowing and self-discrimination on the media are mainly concentrated on the following points:
1. The number of people who have defaulted on wages has reached 80; 2. The irregular layoffs of Mido Entertainment: The labor contractor does not stipulate KPI and other indicators, but lays off employees with unfinished KPIs, and the wages of 8,000 yuan arrears are also deducted; The multi-entertainment boss intends to delay indefinitely.
Coincidentally, the company that claims to be engaged in both AR and VR product development and technological innovation, the scene that officially began to operate in January 2015, was also exposed to malicious defaults on employee salaries and reimbursement at the end of October. Involved in the amount of more than 2 million, so that the unbearable employees hit the banner to the door of the investor Wang Xiangyun's Shengjing Innovation Center. From the online news, in fact, as early as August, it seems that some employees have begun to denounce and seek solutions.
Numerous benchmarking companies have successively smashed scandals such as layoffs and wage arrears, indicating that this is not a case of business operations, but the overall status of the VR industry is worrying.Three major problems of domestic VR: bubble, content, core technology
Although it is claimed that this year is the first year of VR, in fact, the global performance of the VR industry this year is not very good, the publicity is very hot, but the user's interest has not improved much.
Data show that the world's best known as the HTC vive has only sold 140,000 units, with industry expectations of this magnitude obviously has not a small gap. Under this circumstance, the domestic VR industry has been in trouble, and it is not unreasonable. As for the reasons, there are three possible aspects to analyze:
Blind investment overheated and encountered capital winter
Since the end of last year, VR has become a popular vocabulary, not only the giant company's money-saving layout, but also many startup companies have invested in it. Statistics show that in the first quarter of 2016, the total financing scale of the VR industry reached 816 million yuan, and a total of 18 startup companies were financing. In fact, the VR industry is still very fragile, and the swarming enterprises basically do not have mature business models and profit models, and can only rely on financing for blood supply.
Profit-seeking capital is unlikely to continue to transfuse blood when it does not see the prospect of profit. The so-called cold winter is just around the corner. There are only five new startups in the second quarter of this year. Many VR companies that have lost their support for capital and cannot achieve self-hematopoiesis are naturally not good.
Short content, unable to meet the basic needs of users
The biggest pain point of VR popularization is that the content resources are too poor. If you buy a VR glasses or helmet, you can only watch a few videos or play simple games. It is naturally difficult to expand the market. The main reason for the lack of content is not talent, not IP and creation, but is subject to excessive costs.
This is why foreign VR content is dominated by adult content and games. In China, adult content cannot be approved, and content is more scarce.
Excessive cost and a small user base make the risk of investment content production high, which in turn restricts the enthusiasm of content production and falls into a vicious circle. The shortcomings of domestic VR content production may still need to wait until cheaper hardware and simpler applications come out before they can be truly resolved.
Domestic manufacturers lack core technology and lack competitiveness
The venture capital company that VR is flooding has a deadly bottleneck, and it is also a common problem for domestic companies: lack of core technology.
Some experts bluntly say that the domestic VR enterprises "the underlying equipment is foreign, domestic startup companies do not have independent intellectual property rights, just a shell, so the cost is high." The so-called technology development, mainly the design and adaptation, low technical content, no advantage in the market competition.
Taking the storm mirror as an example, the storm mirror of two or three hundred yuan is far less user-friendly than the high-end equipment such as Oculus, but it has not opened a significant distance from the low-end equipment of Huaqiang North. Although many products have been sold out, they have not established a leading position and are in a relatively embarrassing position.
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