Image: Another axiom
Virtual reality experimentation can pay off. In-app purchases drove Gorilla Tag’s Quest revenue into double-digit millions.
Gorilla Tag is probably the most unusual achievement in the still-young VR industry. In early 2021, Kerestell Smith experimented with an unusual tag game in which players use motion controls to move forward with the 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 income for the developer, Another Axiom, which now has over 15 people working for it. On March 12, 2022, a free version of Quest followed in Meta’s official early access store “App Lab”. He brought a total of $26 million in revenue from in-app purchasesKerestell 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 great particularity of the tag game is the locomotion with rowing arm. It is used for running, climbing and jumping and quickly gives new players tremendous muscle soreness.
A full version for Quest 2 released on December 15, 2022. It too is free and offers additional cosmetic purchases. The offer of silly shirts and hats seems to be well received, as the sales figures prove.
The number of users is also impressive. The 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 didn’t expect the game to be successful, but from the start I knew it was great,” Smith says in the interview, looking back on his early games. After that, word of mouth essentially made success possible, he suggests.
Positive outlook for VR games
Another Axiom COO, David Yee, has a positive view of the future of VR: “One message we want to share for the VR industry is that it is possible for developers to have significant success in virtual reality and that audiences want content.”
Gorilla Tag is also available for PC VR, but not for free. The SteamVR version costs $19.99. Via cross-play, Quest and SteamVR users play together.