I think you can watch the UCI’s, when Van Der Poel crashes, that was awesome, wins the race gritty, Jersey torn, shoe broken.
Without crashing, Zwift is lacking a key aspect of real world physics. I love to gravel bike downhill on single track, I’m not going to bomb down that trail, I’ve done it before and been thrown off the bike. The probability of crashing creates a skill set feature.
NVidia’s physics X was introduced over a decade ago to simulate virtual world destructive environments. These are not abstractions.
The in game experience has to move forward:
- Best in class visuals, a constant reason to upgrade
- In game physics, with the potential for crashing
- Increases of atmospheric effects
- Optimization of user interface (if you are not wearing a heart rate monitor, don’t show heart rate in the left upper screen)
- Ability to set screen preferences (show me top three or five riders nearby, more than 5 is visually overwhelming)
Much of this can be done with a script. You can let users decide on night riding, morning rides, rain and snow, to leverage atmospheric effects, to feature the graphics, and ideally the physics, like slipping.
The TacX Neo has superior road feel, it’s accurate as to gravel and bridges, and can simulate rain slippage. Zwift could have partnered with Garmin. Why Garmin, they have the best in class hardware at the affordable price point, that’s Garmin’s mission and always was. Their software lacked any level of best in class beyond road feel.
My point, the market is going to inflect 2 to 3 years from now, tremendous improvements in hardware, system on a chip on fabric with AI modules on the fabric, tremendous step up in graphical power and superior efficiency. Gaming companies have to create the market to absorb new potential users.
MyWoosh specifically targeted Australia, South America, Arabia, and are improving their UCI race world, partnered I think with Unreal. They are using their UCI presence to gain global users outside the reach of Zwift, the causal user that is not interested in a subscription.
Look at the YouTube views of a the Zwift UCI race, only 3,000 views. Look at the number of users on any given day in a Zwift World, a few thousand. Then look at Fortnight, Minecraft, they are generating over a million concurrent users every hour of the day. Look at Roblox, these companies crossed the chasm, they scaled to a massive and consistent user base. The promise of best in class visuals and new world possibilities was always the attraction for new users.