The launch of the Oculus storefront earlier this week was an especially busy day at EEDAR as the first premium VR games were classified and entered into our games database, the backbone of our market research services. Oculus had previously announced 30 titles for the launch day but ended up launching with 50 games, experiences, and applications from over 40 different publishers.
A breakdown of the launch games on the platform suggests a diverse range of games in the genres currently favored by VR enthusiasts.
The following graph shows the genres of the 50 launch products, which included 38 games, 3 media viewing platforms, and 9 VR experiences.
The Oculus launch lineup has a diverse selection of games across both more core genres (Shooter, RPG, and Action) and more casual genres (Puzzle, Arcade). Over 70% (27 of 38) of the titles are new IP, creating new videogame brands. Some of these new characters and worlds, such as the Rift-bundled Lucky’s Tale, appear to have potential staying power as long-term franchises. The store launched with 10% of its products in Oculus Early Access (four games and one experience). The Oculus Early Access program functions similarly to the Steam Early Access program, and will hope to replicate the latter’s success.
Oculus has done a good job of creating a launch portfolio with titles in the established genres most desired by VR early adopters. The following chart shows the genres most desired for VR releases by PC gamers in North America who plan to purchase a premium headset (Oculus, Vive, PSVR) in 2016. Note the high percentage of coverage (shown by blue bars) across these genres by the Oculus launch lineup.
Interest in Role Playing Games and Shooters is especially high. While this is likely influenced by general popularity trends in AAA gaming, it may also be reflective of a perception that the value proposition of VR has immersive synergy with titles in these genres. The graph also suggests that there is still an opportunity to release the initial premium VR title in some desired genres, such as Stealth Action and MMORPG.
The Oculus launch lineup pricing is as diverse as its genres. Game pricing ranges from the $4.99 pricepoint seen in premium mobile games to the full $59.99 of a current AAA title with the bundled Lucky’s Tale. The 3 media viewing platforms and 7 experiential experiences are being offered for free. The average cost across the 37 paid games is $19.56, with a higher average cost in the more core genres than the casual genres.
It is notable that EEDAR did not have to alter our game genre system to easily classify the available games and content (We did add “Experiential Environment” as a non-gaming category). It often takes a while for completely new genres to emerge on a new platform. Early mobile games were mostly in the Arcade and Puzzle genre before the evolution of mid-core gaming. We look forward to seeing what new genres emerge as developers learn what VR gameplay resonates with gamers.
VP, Insights and Analytics, EEDAR