SteamVR, the virtual reality platform that is supported by the HTC Vive headset, currently has over 1,000 apps and games available to download. However, a new report says that Valve, the creator of SteamVR, admits that only 30 or so apps and games on its platform have earned more than $250,000 so far.
The report, from Road to VR, includes quotes from Valve founder Gabe Newell. He seems to believe that this slow start for VR games is only the beginning for the platform. He stated:
Vive is the most expensive device on the market. It’s barely capable of doing a marginally adequate job of delivering a VR experience. We have to figure out all sorts of other problems before even the hardware question gets answered, much less what’s going to be the compelling content.
Indeed, that might be the lesson to be learned here. Not only are sales of VR headsets in their early stages, but virtual reality developers are still trying to figure out what makes a great VR game or app. Newell himself has stated that the company internally ported some of its older PC games like Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 but he admitted that “there was absolutely nothing compelling” about those games in a VR setting.
As the platform matures and developers gain more experience in making VR games, we will inevitably get more and better apps that will attract a wider audience. Even Newell indicates that current VR developers are “super excited” at the prospects for future games, adding, “For every idea they had in their first generation product, they have ten ideas now.”
Combine that enthusiasm with continued sales of VR headsets, along with future hardware releases that hopefully will be priced lower that current products, and we could soon see a lot more VR games reach an exceed that $250,000 revenue milestone.