Is It Worth It To Make Games For HTC Vive?

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Is It Worth It To Make Games For HTC Vive?
February 14, 2017
Hello there! I’m Tavrox, a freelance game marketing manager working with indie game developers. I’m currently working for Glitchr Studio, who makes Sky Sanctuary, an HTC Vive VR game coming this week.

 

So I wanted to know what kind of sales numbers they can expect. It’s hard to predict a number but we can find some trends. Beware this is a quite small sample. To have good numbers you’d have to fetch the few thousands Vive VR games there are on Steam.

 

A simple process

 

My process was simple. First I search for VR games on Steam with the label VR Only. Then I take a loot at steam pages. Then I look up the data on Steam Spy (when available). It took a while so I only fetched 40 games with 20 reviews or more. The games were between 5 april 2016 and 31 january 2017.

 

The positive point about VR market research is that there are actually very few bundles. The numbers from Steam Spy are reliable because it’s the HTC Vive main market.

 

The key questions adressed

 

* Are Steam users active with their Vive?

* Is the userbase growing?

* What is the average revenue you can expect?

* How much games are actually supporting the Oculus Rift?

* What is the average price right now?

 

The results

Around 70% of the HTC Vive games have an oculus support. That’s pretty high. There are games with huge revenue numbers that still don’t have an Oculus port. So it doesn’t seem to be important to have one.

Let’s look at the success stories.

Job Simulator was critically acclaimed. It won the Unity Best VR game award. It had tons of good reviews and the game seems to have a lot of features.
Space Pirate Trainer is very well markted. The principle is simple, but the trailer has a lot of quality, the game looks beautiful and simple. It had a lot of review too.
Vanishing realms goes deep in the RPG “niche”. Trolls, Skeletons, Magic, everything fantasy goes in here. It’s very appealing to core RPG fans.

 

The three games were there right from the start. It’s actually pretty important: no game has made better than those 3 games, yet the Vive has been there for a year. There should be more Vive sales across time, but it’s not the case.

 

Sales across time

I have the feeling that a lot of people left their Vive in the closet, taking the dirt. Those numbers are worrying. VR on Steam might not be big next market. Don’t trust the hype, look at the numbers. Run a market analysis by yourself.

Conclusion

 

The Vive market is young. Yet, we have some reliable data to see if it’s growing. It’s not growing that much. If you’re developing a game for Vive, be careful about your projected sales numbers. Talk with developers of your size who recently shipped a game.

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