Has virtual reality finally reached a tipping point? The numbers coming out of Facebook’s Oculus VR division suggest so – cash is flowing into its coffers, as user numbers soar and spend.
Following the October launch of the excellent Oculus Quest 2, business is booming on the VR headset’s storefront.
“At Facebook Connect, we shared that over 35 titles on the Quest platform had generated revenue in the millions,” said Oculus’s Mike Verdu, VP of Content in a blogpost.
“About four and a half months later, that number is now more than 60 titles generating revenue in the millions, nearly twice as many as a few months ago.
“Put another way, that’s one in three paid apps on our store making over $1M in revenue. Developers of all sizes are seeing meaningful revenue growth on the Quest Platform, thanks in large part to Quest 2’s technical capabilities and the winning wireless form factor.”
During last week’s Facebook earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also stated that Quest 2 had been “one of the hot holiday gifts this year.” Its strong sales had pushed a large chunk of the company’s $885 million Q4 non-advertising revenue, with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg stating that this year-over-year increase of 156% was “due to strong Quest 2 holiday sales.”
VR devs reaping the rewards - and so will players
Individual development teams are also doing well out of the growing interest in VR. Verdu points to Onward developer Dante:
“Onward was a multiplayer Rift game that came over to Quest and has made over $10M in revenue on Quest alone. Dante’s story—from being a one-man dev team, to building a studio and making over $10M in revenue on Quest—is a remarkable example of dev success on the platform.”
The post also notes similar success for the makers of Population:One, Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted, Supernatural, FitXR and Beat Saber.
It’s encouraging stuff. Not only is it great to see hardwork pay off for developers with hard cash, but it grows confidence in Oculus (and by extension, VR) as a platform. With a healthy and engaged player base, you can expect to see more adventurous VR experiences developed, and more developers willing to take a chance on the platform. Established names and franchises can join the fray, without their gatekeepers believing their work is being sent out to die in a void.
It’s no wonder then that Zuckerberg alluded to an incoming Oculus Quest 3 headset arriving sooner rather than later.
We’ve been skeptical in the past over whether or not virtual reality would ever reach a mass audience, but the numbers now are starting to show that it’s possible. Finally, virtual reality may have its mainstream platform – and we can’t wait to see what sort of experiences and hardware leaps that will drive.
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.