Several developers have indicated Christmas 2021 was a big moment for the VR industry and Meta’s Quest 2 headset.
Over the last few years, the Christmas period has become an increasingly huge milestone day of growth for virtual reality and VR developers, particularly in the post-2019 Quest era. However, this year looks to be the biggest Christmas for VR yet, with developers sharing statistics that indicate the biggest day of growth yet.
Famously, Meta does not release any sales numbers for Quest headsets themselves at Christmas or at any other point in the year. This means we’re left trying to roughly estimate how the size of the Quest install base based on various other unofficial data points. This week’s developer tweets are a good example of that.
This actually sends shivers down my spine. Hope Facebook doesn't get to own it all, but they have an uncontested lead. https://t.co/aWXvk3yWJI
— Eric Florenzano (@ericflo) December 25, 2021
The Oculus app, which is required for new users to set up a headset, rocketed up to #1 on the Apple App Store charts on Christmas, beating out popular and near-ubiquitous social media apps TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. If the Oculus app chart position indicates strong new headset take-up, then app sales numbers and player base growth shows that those new owners were keen to get in on VR experiences as well.
Wanted to add some @recroom numbers to all the VR excitement
We've seen over 1 million VR players log into Rec Room since Christmas day. It took us about 60 hours to hit that number 🤯
— Shawn Whiting (@ShawnRecRoom) December 27, 2021
Social VR experience Rec Room (which is available for free on VR and non-VR platforms and is consistently at the top of the Oculus Store charts) saw record numbers over Christmas, with over 1 million VR players logging into the platform across a 60 hour period. This is huge growth – it was only earlier this year that Rec Room hit the same milestone (1 million VR players logging in) across an entire month. The company is currently hiring for over 60 positions.
This Christmas sales spike is insane! Many many new people jumped into VR!
Yesterday's sales have been unprecedented for @HandPhysicsLab, not even launch day comes close!
So happy to see so many new people playing and enjoying it! 😃🙌 pic.twitter.com/bn3TOdruKL
— Dennys Kuhnert (@DennysKuhnert) December 26, 2021
Dennys Kuhnert, developer of Hand Physics Lab, said that Christmas Day sales of the app were “unprecedented”. He also shared an unlabelled sales graph for Hand Physics Lab, showing a huge upwards spike that looks to be roughly double the previous high point of sales on the app’s launch day.
🎄That Christmas spike is real!! Happy Oculus Quest 2 day!
For reference yesterday was our best sales day ever and today is already 30% bigger with the better half still to come!
Green line is last year’s unit sales by hour.#VR 🚀🚀🚀 pic.twitter.com/aieLob9LHI
— Ryan Engle | GOLF+ (@Rengle820) December 25, 2021
One developer of Golf+ noted that they had to “scale up to manage the CCUs [concurrently connected users]” on Christmas Day. Another Golf+ developer noted that sales across the 2021 Christmas period surpassed 2020 significantly, with December 24 2021 fleetingly becoming the game’s “best sales day ever”, only to be immediately (and significantly) surpassed the next day on Christmas.
Twitter user @henrilatr pointed out to UploadVR Editor-in-Chief Ian Hamilton that Eleven Table Tennis experienced a large spike in online players on Christmas Day, going from peaks of roughly 800 players across the December 21-24 to new peaks of 1800+ players on Christmas Day. These new peaks have stayed roughly stable since Christmas through December 28.
Just took a look at the revenue chart for @locodojogame on Oculus Quest 2 yesterday 👀😎
— Sam W [)-) (@vr_sam) December 26, 2021
Sam Watts, a developer at Make Real VR, indicated he was happy with the revenue chart for Loco Dojo Unleashed on Christmas Day, sharing an unlabelled chart with a line that spikes upwards in a similar fashion to the apps above.
absolutely bonkers christmas weekend for gorilla tag. hit 344k unique users today, and peaked at just over 26k concurrent users
— LemmingVR (@LemmingVR) December 27, 2021
Developer of popular multiplayer game Gorilla Tag indicated huge player numbers as well, citing an “absolutely bonkers” 344,000 unique users (and a peak of 26,000 concurrent users) across the Christmas weekend. It’s also worth nothing that Gorilla Tag isn’t even available on the Oculus Store for Quest 2 – it’s listed on App Lab, meaning new users on that platform would have to have found or searched for a link to the app somewhere online. Quest 2 users would not have been led to the app organically while in VR like the other apps listed above, making this a pretty significant achievement even when accounting for PC VR players, as the game is sold on Steam as well.
This is likely just a tiny snapshot of what has been one of the most profitable and huge periods of growth in VR history. Many of the apps above are available across multiple VR platforms including Quest 2, PC VR and PSVR. However, it’s clear that even if some growth is being driven by the latter two platforms, it’s Meta’s Quest 2 that is likely driving most of this insane growth. Anecdotally, more people than ever are sharing videos of new users (of all demographics but particularly younger children) unwrapping and playing with new Quest 2 headsets this Christmas.