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Link: Action drives VR, but Japan prizes anonymity and plot - The Japan Times

Where a personal VR headset might have once just been a house party gimmick brought by your “techie” friend, this is now an industry that’s currently valued at $3.9 billion (about ¥615 billion). “The Japanese metaverse market is expected to continue to show growth potential, as it is projected to expand to ¥1.42 trillion (about $9 billion) in 2026,” says Chad Porter, global communications manager at Hikky, a Japan-based metaverse service company. Part of Hikky’s offerings include Virtual Market, an online convention hosted via VRChat, and metaverse technology solutions to enable everyone from multinational giants such as Microsoft and Disney to celebrities like Miyavi and Exile to orchestrate virtual experiences for their communities. Virtual Market has achieved three Guinness World Records, including one from 2021 for the most booths — 1,104, to be precise — at a virtual reality market event. Events like these, ones that don’t offer a traditional gaming experience, have the effect of broadening appeal — Porter explains that the percentage of women visitors has increased by 1½ times in the past two years, indicating an influx of diverse users beyond the stereotypical “geeky male” demographic. #


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