Five million players relive early childhood joys in Gorilla Tag VR
Gorilla Tag has become a VR phenomenon. Well over five million people have played the VR game, in which your body transforms into a virtual monkey. What’s so fascinating about it?
Gorilla Tag runs counter to almost every expectation of a successful game, whether for VR or for conventional screens. It has minimal graphics, simple game mechanics, and hardly any scope.
Nevertheless, the unassuming indie title stormed inexorably towards the top: Gorilla Tag now has more ratings in the Meta Quest Store than any other VR game, including Beat Saber.
And now Meta announces that the title is played by more than 5 million VR players. It is unclear whether this number includes all those who have only tried the title once and do not play it regularly. Even if that is unlikely, the number is still impressive for such a small medium as VR.
What do I do in Gorilla Tag?
Gorilla Tag is a multiplayer title in which you play tag with other gorilla avatars in the body of a virtual gorilla. The locomotion is as unique as it is unusual: instead of using teleportation, button presses, or analog sticks, you use your arms to push off surfaces, climb trees, and swing through the virtual jungle.
Another Axiom, the responsible studio, writes that this method is easy to learn and difficult to master. I was able to see this for myself, as well as the dangers of wildly rowing your arms in your living room – blind to the physical environment under your VR headset.
Currently, Gorilla Tag has six levels and four game modes, and that’s all. The graphics are functional, and the game is free – the developers make money with cosmetic items. Nevertheless, Gorilla Tag has been a hit and has gone viral. But why?
Virtual reality may be a social medium after all
I’ll be honest: Personally, I can’t do much with Gorilla Tag. After fifteen minutes, I put the VR headset aside and never touched Gorilla Tag again. I’m clearly not part of the target audience. However, there might be several logical reasons why the VR game is so popular.
As kids, we played tag all the time – for reasons: Both the social component and the competition make the game exciting. The secret to Gorilla Tag’s success may lie in the multiplayer nature of the VR game. Just like the playground from your childhood, Gorilla Tag is a space for social encounters combined with a simple competition. Children love playing in Gorilla Tag VR.
This would confirm Mark Zuckerberg’s thesis that virtual reality is primarily a social technology. This is also confirmed by the data: We know from official sources that social experiences and multiplayer games now account for more than half of Quest’s usage time.
Apps like Rec Room and VRChat, which also focus on social interaction, are also among the top ten highest-rated VR apps in the Quest Store, as is Gorilla Tag.