Gorilla Tag crosses 10M VR players and $100M in revenue



Another Axiom announced that Gorilla Tag virtual reality game has crossed 10 million players in VR and generated $100 million in revenue.

In an interview with GamesBeat, Another Axiom COO David Yee said the success shows the scale of what is possible on VR platforms like Steam and Meta Quest.

Another Axiom is talking about the results today on a panel with moderator Malia Probst (Scout House) at the Augmented World Expo 2024 event in Long Beach, California. Yee, Kerestell Smith and David Neubelt participated in the panel on best practices in VR.

“The narrative about VR has been that it is in a decline, or we’ve moved on to other forms of XR. But we really want to stress that VR is actually in a really healthy space right now. People don’t talk about it. I think that part of the reason for that is there is an absence of data,” Yee said.


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Origins

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Kerestell Smith is the creator of Gorilla Tag.

Gorilla Tag started as a passion project for a single developer, Kerestell Smith. Known as LemmingVR, Smith was a star in the esports community of Echo VR, the zero-gravity esports game created by Meta’s studio, Ready at Dawn. But the company decided to shut down Echo VR, and Smith went to work on Gorilla Tag.

He built the game in his spare time and launched it in February 2021 on the App Lab, and it debuted on the Meta Quest Store in 2022. It’s also on Steam.

The game’s graphics aren’t that spectacular. You play as a gorilla character in VR, without legs, running around a jungle environment with so-so graphics. You pull yourself along through the environments with your arms while holding VR controllers. It can be exhausting to play for hours, but lots of young folks are doing just that.

Growth

The social multiplayer gameplay proved addictive, and 10 million people have played the game. Yee said that the game hit peaks of three million monthly active users and one million daily active users. The game was the first app to pass 110,000 reviews on the Meta Quest Store, and it has become the most popular game on the platform.

“It became a third place, a place where people would go and hang out. That’s kind of how it spread out through the audience,” Yee said.

On average, play sessions are nearly 60 minutes, twice the previous record. On any given day, there are concurrent users in excess of 90,000 players — meaning that’s how many are playing at once.

“This is exciting to talk about, and we want more VR developers to understand that this is possible,” Yee said. “It’s a really healthy ecosystem right now.”

On social media, Gorilla Tag’s Discord has over 350,000 members, and it has more than 10 billion views on TikTok. As a result of all of this success, Another Axiom has more than 100 people working on Gorilla Tag, which is religiously updated every couple of weeks. That has helped retention stay strong.

The game has added new forms of locomotion, like swimming, zip lines and climbing ropes.

Perception problems

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Gorilla Tag has 10 billion views on TikTok.

But it’s hard to find people expressing how good the market can be for the market leaders. Another Axiom hasn’t done much paid marketing, and it has a relatively small influencer marketing program. Yee believes most of the players are in their 20s or younger.

“We have an audience that’s coming back day after day to play a game for over an hour on average each day,” Yee said. “There’s an audience here. We think people need to reframe how they’re thinking about VR. It’s very much a blue ocean.”

The company will consider making the game for the Apple Vision Pro, as Yee said he would like to see Gorilla Tag on every device possible.

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David Yee is COO of Another Axiom.

“We’re a social VR product. We’re a multiplayer game,” he said.

That’s saying a lot, considering games have stalled in the broader market. So much so that game companies have laid off more than 10,800 people so far, or more than the 10,500 laid off for all of 2023. By contrast, Another Axiom is still hiring for its fully remote team.

“Our audience continues to grow. Our numbers continue to grow. The usage patterns for VR are different. We see people come back to the device at different times. While the language that we use to build the products is the same, the audience behaves differently,” Yee said.

Yee thinks it’s important to know that VR games can succeed, particularly in a space where some of the biggest game companies haven’t yet appeared.

“As a development community, you can’t run a P&L and you can’t make a business plan unless you know what’s out there,” he said.



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