Gorilla Tag team proves you can make millions with VR gaming
Experimentation in VR can pay off. In-app purchases brought Gorilla Tag's Quest revenues into the double-digit millions.
Gorilla Tag is probably the most unusual success story of the still-young virtual reality industry. In early 2021, Kerestell Smith experimented with an unusual tag game in which players use motion controls to move forward with rowing arms. In the Early Access phase on Steam and in the unofficial Sidequest Store, the game had no sales.
The VR game has since become a huge source of revenue for the developer, Another Axiom, which now has over 15 people working for it. On March 12, 2022, a free Quest version followed in Meta's official early access store "App Lab." It brought in a total of $26 million in revenue from in-app purchases, Kerestell told Venturebeat.
Successful in-app purchases for Meta Quest
In the title with rudimentary pixel graphics, participants become gorillas and chase each other through the forest or play paintball. The big feature in the game of tag is the locomotion with rowing arms. It is used for running, climbing, and jumping and quickly gives new players a huge muscle ache.
A full version for Quest 2 released on December 15, 2022. It, too, is free and offers cosmetic add-on purchases. The offer of silly shirts and hats seems well received, as the sales figures prove.
The user numbers also look impressive. The record number of monthly active users is 2.3 million, and on Christmas Day 2022, a total of 760,000 players were chasing each other through the forest. Smith even counted a total of over 5 million players. In our experience, the predominantly young audience also uses the title as an online meeting place.
"I never expected the success the game turned into, but from the very beginning I knew it was awesome," Smith explains in the interview while looking back on his first matches. After that, word of mouth essentially made the success possible, he suggests.
Positive outlook for VR games
Another Axiom COO David Yee has a suitably positive view of the future of VR: "A message we want to share for the VR industry is that it’s possible for developers to have a meaningful hit in VR and the audience wants content."
Gorilla Tag is also available for PC VR, but not for free. The SteamVR version costs $19.99. Via crossplay, Quest and SteamVR users play together.