Superhot VR (2017) just celebrated a big milestone. Having sold more than 800,000 units across all supported platforms, developers Superhot Team say the VR title has now generated more revenue than their original hit PC game Superhot (2016).
It’s no surprise the unique VR action game has done extremely well for itself. After all, Superhot VR ranked as the number three best-selling PSVR title of 2018 on the US PlayStation Store; on Steam, it was one of the top 12 best-selling VR games of the platform two years running.
Speaking to German VR publication MIXED, studio co-founder and business director Tomasz Kaczmarczyk gave rare insight into the VR title’s success. To Kaczmarczyk, the number of Superhot VR copies sold has a strong correlation to overall headset sales, something he says has a lot to do with a largely unshakable best-sellers list across all platforms.
“We saw a huge uptick in our sales,” Kaczmarczyk said, referring to the 2018 holiday season. “There’s just more people that have headsets, and a lot of them will buy Superhot VR. It’s not anywhere near the patterns you see for regular [non-VR] games, where you see your sales decline over time and people start getting bored and they buy new stuff. For VR, if you’re in this “best-selling” list, your sales pattern is just about people buying headsets, and people buying your game.”
Virtual Reality Conventions Are A Hit. Among the biggest reasons behind the rising popularity of virtual reality are the tech conventions. These are the venues where people might first learn about virtual reality and where the first time users experience it as well. The others go to not miss out on the latest. Some of the conventions are becoming really popular and ticket prices are skyrocketing. Companies that produce virtual reality headsets are using the conventions to build some hype for their upcoming products for users.
Kaczmarczyk tells MIXED that the game’s holiday 2018 uptick was partially due to the hype around successful VR rhythm game Beat Saber (2018), a title that’s cemented its meteoric success by selling over one million copies as of March across PSVR, Steam and the Oculus Store.
'Superhot VR' is Coming to Oculus Quest
Like many early entrants into consumer VR, the team wasn’t certain how Superhot VR would fare when they initially started development though.
“When we started out, my expectation for Superhot VR was that it was not going to be impactful at all, because VR was very very small basically at that point,” Kaczmarczyk tells MIXED. “We were making a game for devices that weren’t out and for market that was just hype; nobody really understood how it was going to get to multi-million numbers, to somewhere close to mass market. So my expectation was that it wasn’t going to do anything. But just like a few weeks ago, we actually crossed the threshold, and we’re now actually a legit VR studio because we made more money—we had more revenue with Superhot VR than the we had from Superhot.”
Although the studio says the VR sales have been encouraging, they still employ two production teams working on non-VR titles, one dedicated to creating the expansion to the original Superhot, and another for a non-VR game that should be announced this year.
“I hope that once we’ve got some of that shipped, or streamlined to a point where we can downsize the teams, we can start figuring out what will be next. I would like to work on something again in VR, and have a new VR project. [However] it’s not decided yet.”
Samsung Is Going All In. Samsung is one of the leading companies in the virtual reality space. Years of research into virtual reality are finally paying off for the company. At virtual reality conventions, Samsung's products are often regarded as one of the most popular, based on feedback from attendees. Currently, the Samsung Gear VR is the most popular virtual reality headset on the market. Things in the market might change in a few years, but for now Samsung is in the lead.
Superhot VR’s next stop is Oculus Quest , where it will be a launch day title. Many of the long-reigning champions of the best-sellers lists are also making their way to Quest, including Job Simulator, Beat Saber, I Expect You to Die, Moss, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, OrbusVR: Reborn and more. We’ll be waiting patiently to see just how these ‘legacy’ titles fare on Oculus’ upcoming VR headset, one that promises to not only bring many of the games that ostensibly sold PC VR systems in the first place, but is doing it at a decidedly more consumer-oriented $400 price tag.