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Million Dollar Babies: The XR Studios That Are Smashing It! [UPDATE 6th Sept]

Million Dollar Babies: The XR Studios That Are Smashing It! [UPDATE 6th Sept]

With VR – and even more so AR and MR – still in its infancy, the list of studios who have broken the million-dollar barrier is short, but distinguished (to mis-quote everyone’s favourite navigator, Goose). 

Raw Data may have been the first VR title to clear $1M in a month, so there really was no-one else we could put at the top of our 25 Developers To Watch feature at the end of last year. But halfway through 2017 and the terrain looks more than a little different...

So we thought it was time to recognise the progress made by the VR industry in its infancy and put together a list of the VR, AR and MR developers and publishers that have broken the million-dollar barrier.

We’ll add to this list as more immersive games earn their sales stripes, so if you think we’ve missed something, please contact the Editor at [email protected] - preferably with supporting data.

So without further ado and presented most recent first, let’s look at the members of this most exclusive club...


Click here to view the list »
  • I Expect You To Die (PS VR, Rift, Vive)

    I Expect You To Die (PS VR, Rift, Vive) logo

    [UPDATE 6th Sept]

    Schell Games' I Expect You To Die is the most recent addition to this exclusive club, generating more than $1m revenue since launching in December last year on Rift, Vive, and PS VR. 

    New content is also due to be released by the end of 2017.

    CEO Jesse Schell said, "Our team worked incredibly hard to create an enjoyable and immersive escape-the-room experience for players. To reach this $1 million threshold is another indication that our hard work is appreciated,"


  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (PS VR, Rift, Vive)

    Star Trek: Bridge Crew (PS VR, Rift, Vive) logo

    You can never discount the importance of a strong license in shifting units – and licenses don’t come much stronger than Star Trek. And so it is that Star Trek: Bridge Crew makes our list of million-dollar VR games. But that’s not to underestimate Ubisoft’s efforts in crafting a most excellent VR experience – and a social one at that! The French publisher is obviously keen to establish itself as a VR powerhouse; quite deservedly on this evidence.

    Based on data from Steam Spy alone, Bridge Crew has 24,800 users and at $40 each, that equates to revenue of $1,240,000 – potentially much higher by the time you factor in sales for Rift and the most popular VR hardware format by a country mile, PS VR. International sales sites report PS VR sales for Bridge Crew of 0.04m to mid-June, which equates to an additional 40,000 sales for a total of $1,600,000.

    It looks like Sci Fi VR is a sure thing and we would say ‘Make it so’, but maybe that’s for the next generation...


  • Farpoint (PS VR)

    Farpoint (PS VR) logo

    Phenomenal PS VR exclusive shooter, Farpoint, racked up an incredible 58,865 sales in Europe in the first week following its 17th May release this year. At an assumed $40 per game, that equates to $2,354,600 revenue in its first week alone for Sony and developers, Impulse Gear

    We don’t have any data regarding sales of Aim controller bundles, but can only assume that many PS VR early adopters will have doubled their investment to purchase the hardware alongside the game itself – especially since the resale market is presently reaching double SRP. If true, that would bring Farpoint’s revenue to more than half-a-billion dollars in Europe alone.


  • Resident Evil 7 (PS VR)

    Resident Evil 7 (PS VR) logo

    Notable for being the first full-length game playable in VR from a major publisher, RE7 won many fans with its release in January this year. Bear with us for some back-of-the-fag-packet maths here, but we reckon Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 biohazard has generated more than $10m on PS VR alone.

    Using Capcom’s handy stat tracker, we can see that the game now has 253,428 PS VR users (which is 10.93% of all 2,319,700 players). Assuming a purchase price of $40 and that those PS VR users purchased the game to play it in VR, that equates to a total of $10,137,120 for RE7 as a VR title.

    We’ll be the first to admit that there’s more than a little margin for error in our assumptions, but we’re still looking at multiples of millions of VR dollars, whichever way you hack, slash or dice it....


  • Arizona Sunshine (Rift, Vive, PS VR)

    Arizona Sunshine (Rift, Vive, PS VR) logo

    Developers Vertigo Games and Jaywalkers Interactive announced that Arizona Sunshine made $1.4m in sales during its first month of release. The zombie shooter was released on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on 6th December 2016.

    In a prepared statement that was sent to Upload VR, Vertigo Games’ Managing Director, Richard Stitselaar said, “From what we can tell, it may be the fastest selling non-bundled PC VR title to date.”

    Arizona Sunshine went on to receive additional users, but a mixed reaction on PS VR with Aim controller support at the end of June 2017.


  • Gunjack (Gear VR, PS VR, Rift, Vive)

    Gunjack (Gear VR, PS VR, Rift, Vive) logo

    The younger sibling to the mighty Eve: Valkyrie, Gunjack has earned more than $5m in its own right for Icelandic developers, CCP Games. CEO, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson told us that the on-rails shooter has been downloaded more than 500,000 times at a cent short of $10 a pop.

    Sequel, Gunjack 2, has since been released exclusively on Google Daydream and has been downloaded more than 5,000 times at £12.99.


  • Raw Data (Rift, Vive)

    Raw Data (Rift, Vive) logo

    They say you never forget your first – and Raw Data was the first VR title to clear $1m in a single month. That's reason enough for it to remain in our memory banks, but it also happens to be a tremendously fun game that we still play to this day.

    Developers, Survios, were founded in May 2013 and raised $4M in Series A investment. There really was no-one else we could put at the top of our 25 Developers To Watch feature at the end of the year, but the terrain looks a little different now...


  • Pokemon GO (iOS, Android)

    Pokemon GO (iOS, Android) logo

    What superlative hasn't been thrown at Pokemon GO? And not without reason...

    Pokemon Go has become the poster child for Augmented Reality because it’s been downloaded a staggering 750 million times! The app might be available free, but data and market analysts report that Pokemon Go has made over $1bn  from in-app purchases, with additional revenue from sponsored locations. It’s thought to be the fastest mobile game to have passed $1bn revenue in the history of the app stores, beating the likes of the mighty Clash Royale to the crown.

    Sensor Tower claims that Pokemon GO is currently generating between $1.5m and $2.5m a day.

    A day...


  • The Climb (Rift)

    The Climb (Rift) logo

    Oculus’ Head of Content, Jason Rubin, has said that Crytek’s The Climb is the best-selling Rift game so far,  clearing more than $1m on the Rift store alone.

    Despite subsequent financial woes, The Climb earned developers Crytek a place on our list of 25 developers to watch at the end of last year.


  • Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (Rift, Vive, PS VR)

    Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (Rift, Vive, PS VR) logo

    Those clever owl scientists at Owlchemy Labs announced back in January that Job Simulator had earned more than $3m since launching on Vive the previous April. Since then, the game has gone on to star as a launch title on both Oculus Touch and PS VR.

    We awarded our feathered friends with a place on our 25 Developers To Watch feature last year. Having already secured $5m Series A funding last summer, the Austin, Texas studio has since been snapped up for an undisclosed amount by Google this May.


  • Eve: Valkyrie (PS VR, Rift, Vive)

    Eve: Valkyrie (PS VR, Rift, Vive) logo

    If you wanted the perfect demo of how space combat – or all aviation combat, for that matter - will never be the same after the advent of VR, then Eve: Valkyrie is it. Featuring the voice of Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck, Katee Sackhoff, the game was first released in March last year.

    Valkyrie now has 280,000 users on Steam Spy, with a conventional AAA price point of $40 and has had five major updates since. Estimated revenue is in excess of $11,200,000.

    As one of the early movers in the VR space, CCP Games earned its place as one of our 25 Developers To Watch.


  • Bait! (Gear VR, Daydream)

    Bait! (Gear VR, Daydream) logo

    It’s easy to overlook the importance of mobile VR in the face of flashier opponents from Rift and Vive – unless you’re Tommy Palm, CEO at Resolution Games, whose fishing game Bait! has just passed two million downloads

    He said, “Its affordability and convenience has the greatest potential to make Virtual Reality accessible to the general consumer. And we’re very excited to see numbers like these so early on in the industry.”

    Since its March 2016 release, Bait! has added Gear VR controller compatibility and is now available free on Gear VR and for £6.49 on Daydream.


Editor

Steve has been a games journalist on and off since the first PlayStation made games ‘cool’, but he’s never forgotten the thrill of finding a Space Invaders machine in the wild. Neuromancer is one of his favourite books and The Matrix is one of his favourite movies, so he’s been ready for VR all his life.

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