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What You’ll Get for the Cost of VR Explained

Remember when a candy bar was 5 cents? Neither can we.

Times have changed. Between automation and AI, the pace of advancing technology has shifted business models in a major way. Innovations like virtual reality (VR) are transforming the way people use technology to perform their jobs.

The positive reception of VR in corporate training makes perfect sense. Our lives interface with digital technologies on a daily basis. With a fresh standard for innovation, organizations of every size aspire to benefit from the latest learning technologies. Positive user experiences tell us everything we need to know – employees want more opportunities to learn in VR.

So, what kind of investment does this look like?

The cost and complexity of VR programs vary based on factors like development time and the level of customization. As organizations eagerly pursue immersive learning to accelerate employee performance and improve safety, VR’s affordability impacts the way organizations approach their respective goals.

We’re here to help you pose the right questions. Is the sophistication of your training content imperative to quality learning experiences? Are there opportunities to deliver foundational training at an affordability entry point? Each price point of VR offers specific deliverables.  

Custom VR

Developing custom VR is like building a house. When you first start with an empty plot of land, the possibilities are endless. The only thing you need is for the experts to carry out your vision. Depending on what materials you’ve sourced and how many add-ons you ideate, your blueprint (or flow chart) may be subject to go through several revisions. If you’re going through a neighborhood builder who provides you with a catalog with all the blueprints, finishings, and contractors ready for you to pick from, the latter is going to be more affordable.

With custom VR, each training program is unique to your organization’s needs. The question of cost ultimately depends on how far you want to extend the capabilities of VR. If you’re looking for something simple to start, it’s likely your VR content vendor has pre-built assets ready to go – meaning you can expect to pay less! Conversely, if you’re looking to add VR to a complex training that is exclusive to your organization’s operations, you should expect longer timelines and a higher price point.

Read More: How Long Does It Take to Develop VR Training Content?

How is the price of custom VR content determined?

Development for a custom VR project starts with an instructional design team that can translate your vision into a flow chart, which XR developers then implement into the program. Like any well-crafted project, the creation process requires time and adequate resources. In the case of VR, the amount of programming and level of customization fulfilling the objectives of the program determine the final cost. Each step matters!

Instructional designers first start with an important pre-production checklist, including:

After the instructional designers have mapped out the learning experience in a flow chart, it’s time for artists, programmers, and developers to build a virtual environment, create 3D assets, and implement features like animation and other visual aspects of the learning experience. Developers must be proficient in programming languages to work with Unity. The level of user activity, number of interactions, types of interactions, and the virtual setting all impact how many hours will be required during the development period.

The price of any custom VR project typically has a starting point of $50k. Custom 360° VR training is a great option for organizations looking to give employees a first-person, fixed perspective for practicing interactions and technical skills in a realistic environment. Through a VR headset, desktop, or mobile device, learners enter a virtual world that sparks engagement and hones the science of learning.

Depending on how much organizations invest in their program, the possibilities of custom VR are truly endless. But let’s break it down for you.

Read More: Cost of Custom Virtual Reality Training (2022)

$50k- 100k: Your Entry Point

This is a great starting point for organizations trying VR training for the first time ever!  After determining things like proof of concept, developing your first VR training program will come with some learning curves. Because of this, most organizations opt for smaller programs as an entry point to introduce and familiarize learners with VR while still reaping the benefits. This could be a pilot program or VR project with less development demands so learning outcomes can be tested before a full-scale roll-out.

It’s important to note that VR content doesn’t have to be fully customized to be exceptional. At this price, a program may be limited on the number of modules or the level of customization of 3D objects. This means developers will likely use pre-built assets from their content library, especially when specific customization isn’t necessary for learner success.

For example, it would be difficult to recreate an entire storefront from top to bottom for less than $100k. However, VR programs can recreate the standard interior of a warehouse, office, or retail store. It all depends on whether or not there’s an absolute need to replicate every element of your brand and environment.

$100-200k: The Standard

If you’re really looking to turn heads, $100-$200k is the standard for custom VR. This price point allows developers to tailor 3D objects with customization specific to your organization. This includes logos, colors, replicas, and other forms of distinct visuals that can be accomplished at this cost. What you’ll get for this cost helps distinguish generic content from proprietary. For example, implementing a specific tool that is exclusively used by employees may help to close skill gaps faster by immersing learners in a realistic preview of their role.

With this spend, developers can replicate the specific tools and processes your team uses on a daily basis to ensure they’ve got it down pat. This could be learning how to use a specific scanner for inventory, the different ways of handling a variety of products only your company carries, or operating equipment that was built specifically for your organization.  As the overall complexity and number of modules are increased, so will the level of customization of 3D objects and environments.

$200k+: See Your Vision Come to Life

Do you have an idea you’ve never seen done before? For $200k+ or more, your organization can push the full capabilities of VR with the highest level of customization. Most VR content vendors are always experimenting and eager to take things to the next level.

With emerging technology, VR can deliver heat to the fingertips of employees training for fire safety, simulate realistic driving scenarios, and even incorporate AI functions. From building an entire neighborhood for field technicians to roam to incorporating haptic feedback to enhance the multi-sensory benefits of learning in VR, organizations continue to push the needle with immersive learning experiences.

Leveraging a customized VR investment multiplies its value for training and employee performance. Custom VR on-site filming can be the starting point for a unique VR environment supporting multiple levels of VR training modules. At $200k+, you can create ambitious VR programs with multiple environments, interactions, and multi-step processes customized to your standard.


If you’re eager to get your team in a headset but don’t have the budget to spend on a custom build, you should know that VR is more flexible than you might think. Off-the-shelf (OTS) content is an affordable way to acquire VR training. We’re talking about slashing those zeros.

OTS content introduces a hassle-free approach to VR training programs, ready to use right out of the box. Think of it as getting a pre-made toolkit filled with actionable training tools specific to your project. Instead of starting the training creation process from the ground up, businesses can opt for OTS VR training programs through a convenient monthly subscription plan. These programs cover essential subjects that are universally relevant, such as foundational warehouse practices, honing soft skills, and ensuring workplace safety.

Picture a company with 50 employees that need quick and efficient training. To provide this training, they invest in just three VR headsets. The beauty of the OTS subscription lies in its per-headset pricing model. If each headset subscription costs approximately $1500 per month, the total investment for the three headsets amounts to $54000 over a year, avoiding hefty upfront fees and time invested in content development.

Essentially, OTS content simplifies the process for businesses to acquire and offer a comprehensive range of VR training materials, eliminating the need to build everything from scratch. It’s a budget-friendly way to equip employees with effective training experiences. This subscription cost provides access to a spectrum of training programs and includes a metrics tracking tool bundled within the package to measure the impact of OTS training for yourself.

Read More: Off-The-Shelf VR: Is It for Me?

Custom and OTS: Why not both?

Building a diverse library of training content will expand your reach and organizational impact. That’s why organizations are implementing a combination of custom and off-the-shelf VR to optimize their learning programs. A training library enables faster retraining and can equip employees with multiple skills, adding depth to your workforce.

Not everything needs to be custom.

Organizations need to be selective about where to invest their VR programs. By evaluating what areas of pre-made content can help optimize your training program quickly vs. where VR customization will benefit your learners most, organizations can hone the benefits of each while building out an impressive library of VR training content.

VR veterans are seeing the potential in off-the-shelf content to help extend the impact of their VR programs at a more accessible entry point. For organizations that are adopting VR for the first time, off-the-shelf VR creates a low-risk opportunity to trial the technology

Custom VR training delivers unique benefits: 

  • Ideal for technical skills training that requires hands-on work with intricate objects
  • Provides learners with a safe learning environment where they can practice interactive skillsets without damaging equipment or hurting themselves
  • Scalable training that can be easily managed, tracked, and assigned with an Extended Reality System (XRS)
  • Gives learners a more immersive, realistic training experience so that employees perform their jobs with confidence and greater proficiency

Off-The-Shelf benefits:

  • Ready-made content that can be deployed as early as two weeks
  • No time wasted on developing a new training
  • Metrics tracking with an Extended Reality System in every training
  • VR training designed for foundational skills
  • An accessible way to start building a VR training library

Read More: Custom vs. Off-The-Shelf Training Content: Which Is Best For Your Organization?

The Next Step

Now that we’ve covered the cost of VR training, it’s time to start building your library! 

Your vendor, content, and scale all impact the final cost of your VR training content. If you are ready to engage employees and improve their learning outcomes, building your own library of VR training content is the next step towards transforming your organization.

We want to hear from you! Join us in our passion for discovering new and innovative approaches to learning. Reach out to our team to get started.

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