A few years ago, I was in a meeting with a client and she shared a competitor’s bid with me. For the same as it cost to create a custom VR piece, this company wanted to license a pre-created VR piece and charge a per seat fee — meaning that as the piece succeeded and more people wanted to use it, the company would have to pay more. She was showing me this because she believed our fee had to be higher — when I told her she could have her own custom piece to own free and clear for the same price, she couldn’t believe it.
The market is filling up with organizations that license off the shelf VR training content, and for some organizations, they make sense. An organization of less than a thousand people, for example, shouldn’t be paying for custom VR work — even if everyone went through a piece a few times, it would still be cheaper than making something bespoke. But for organizations with thousands of employees, it makes sense to create a custom solution. Here’s the math:
Let’s say an organization spends $150,000 on a VR piece, which will get you something pretty solid. Add in an additional $25,000 for a fleet of headsets (and that’s at the high end). So you’re looking at a $175,000 total spend. If the organization has 2000 employees who use the piece, then you’re looking at less than $100 per use; if you go up to 3000, that’s just under $60 and so on, until you’re training massive amounts of people for not a lot of money. And the headset costs are fixed, so if you create more pieces, you get an even bigger bang for your buck.
Plus, you control the content. Our clients collaborate with us on the script to make sure we are teaching exactly what they want employees to learn, and we shoot on location and use their branding. That resonates with employees far more than something generic.
“But Cortney!” you might say, “what about avatar programs where I can just swap in new scripts? Isn’t that cheaper than a shoot?”
Well…no. First off, you’re still going to pay a licensing and per seat fee for those programs. Secondly, swapping in scripts isn’t all that easy and it still requires hiring voice actors, unless you want everyone to sound like a robot. And third, talking to a videogame character versus talking to an actual person? Which do you think has a greater emotional impact?
If you want to start making great custom VR training content that reflects your organization’s values and priorities, drop us a line!