Phantom: Covert Ops, the latest Oculus exclusive game, has reached the $1 million revenue mark “a few weeks” after launch, according to developer nDreams. The studio has also teased post-launch content planned for the game and dropped hints of brand new VR projects in the works.

$1 Million Revenue

Following the game’s launch last month on Oculus Quest and Rift, nDreams CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh confirmed that the title quickly passed $1 million in revenue.

“We did it! Phantom: Covert Ops has smashed $1m in gross revenue within the first few weeks from launch. I think it’s a sign of how far VR has come in the last few years, and shows that it is now a very viable, commercial and exciting space to be in,” he said.

At $30 per game, $1 million in revenue would translate to around 33,000 units sold in a month or less. A good start, but probably not yet enough to break even on the game’s production costs.

Phantom: Covert Ops appears to be faring better with users than its critical reception would have suggested. While the game scored an average of 75% from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic, user reviews currently stand at 90% on Quest and 86% on Rift.

'Phantom: Covert Ops' Review – Stealth on the Waterways

Quest vs. Rift

Between the two platforms, it looks like the game has sold much better on Quest than Rift, at least as much as can be inferred by the number of reviews; Phantom: Covert Ops has been reviewed 637 on Quest and 81 times on Rift. Indeed, O’Luanaigh seems quiet happy with the standalone version of the game.

“We’ve been particularly delighted with the Quest version of the game. The headset is phenomenal, but I’ve been blown away with how hard the team have pushed it technically and what we managed to achieve,” he said.

While the Quest version may be impressive compared to other games on the headset, some Rift users assert that it came at the cost of underwhelming graphics on the Rift version of the game, highlighting the challenge of maximizing the potential of two headsets with vastly different levels of computing horsepower.

Phantom: Covert Ops offers cross-buy, meaning that purchasing either version also unlocks the game on the other headsets. That gives Quest players the option of playing with the headset’s onboard processor or plugging into a capable computer to play the PC VR version of the game with enhanced graphics.

Post Launch Content Coming to Phantom: Covert Ops

Image courtesy nDreams

nDreams also teased more content coming to Phantom: Covert Ops. “[…] this is only the beginning… We’ve got some exciting plans for post-launch content which we’ll be announcing more on very soon!” the studio wrote in a post on its website.

Exactly what that content will look like isn’t clear just yet, but there’s a few obvious forms it could take. For one, the game’s ‘Challenge’ missions are short mini-games which challenge the player’s aim, maneuvering abilities, and more. Players are scored on each challenge and ranked on a global leaderboard. It would be relatively easy to add more challenges with an update to the game.

Less likely, but still possible, would be to add additional content to the game’s short four hour campaign. Phantom: Covert Ops is structured in a way that sees players traversing around different areas of a single large map; building more missions around the same space without needing to create a brand new environment seems like it could be an efficient approach to creating more content for the game.

nDreams Teases New VR Games

It sounds like the studio has plans well beyond Phantom: Covert Ops. As a studio with 110 people that’s now “hiring rapidly,” according to O’Luanaigh, nDreams is very large compared to most VR game studios. All of those people have to be working on something

“I wish I could share a little something on some of the exciting new VR projects that we’re currently working on, but for now all I can say is we’ll likely have a couple of big announcements between now and the end of the year,” he said. “[…] we’re investing an increasing amount in R&D as we explore new mechanics and VR gameplay, and come up with new original VR concepts and prototypes.”

That’s good news, as one of the things we liked most about Phantom: Covert Ops was its totally unique locomotion concept which has the player gliding around in a kayak throughout the course of the game. The whole industry will benefit if nDreams continues to explore innovative movement and game structures in their future VR titles.

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  • Hi Ben,

    Just a friendly note (it’s hard to come across as friendly on the Internet when critiquing!): if someone says a figure like ‘$1 million in revenue’ this is very likely an estimate, or rounding of the true figure. So it’s misleading to take that rounded figure and try to extract accuracy from it (i.e. ‘this means 33,333 copies’). It’d be fine to say ‘this means around 30,000 copies’. It’s known as

    Here’s a relevant joke (to end this comment on a nice note): “A tour guide at a museum says a dinosaur skeleton is 100,000,005 years old, because an expert told him that it was 100 million years old when he started working there 5 years ago”

    • benz145

      Hey Richard, fair point, I’ll change the wording to make it clearer that the number is just a rough estimate for the sake of understanding the scale.

  • Ad

    Is this the biggest game available for Quest?

    • DenLeao

      No, FNOF has already 5x more reviews then this game in just a few days. Beat Saber is much bigger, there are easily 10+ titles bigger than this on the quest

      • Ad

        I meant in scale.

        • kakek

          Maybe, it’s about the same scale as journey of the gods for instance. Or apex construct.

    • Kris Bunch

      If you use Virtual Desktop you can then use the Quest to play games in the Rift and Steam libraries. Half-Life Alyxe is probably the biggest in scale.

      • Ad

        I mean Link too, I’m not sure most people can hand VD, although both are pretty limited. I meant just native though.

  • Lhorkan

    A good start, but probably not yet enough to break even on the game’s production costs.

    Which is why pretty much every single serious VR studio is Oculus exclusive; without the Facebook money, developing for VR still isn’t profitable. It’s a shame that Valve isn’t doing anything for the devs, apart from taking a 30% cut.

  • Kris Bunch

    How’s gameplay? Is this fun? I kayak in RL. While I enjoy taking my boat out on lakes and slow rivers, not sure I want to repeat the same motion in a game with no actual water feedback.

    • kakek

      Do you kayak by night to infiltrate abandoned naval bases swarming with movie communists ?
      Seriously though, the game does an enjoyable but very unrealistic approximation of kayaking. In the beginning, it would probably be more frustrating to you than anything else. You could still enjoy the game, but as an infiltration game, where the fact that you’re in a kayak rather than on foot is just detail.

  • Very cool, but the article also highlights a problem: since Quest is more profitable, more game studios (especially little indie ones) will focus on it, and so the PC VR versions, that could be more beautiful, are in the end graphically disappointing

    • Michael Lupton

      There is also the issue where I own a Quest, played it on PC but I think my review defaulted as quest because it is what I own.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      TRUE – just look at Onward, that got a huge graphics downgrade on PC VR once the Quest version was released.

  • Michael Lupton

    I enjoyed it a lot.

  • JB1968

    Another Quest port that is going to kill PCVR progress. So you all PCVR users: please, save your money and don’t forget to buy the ‘cheap’ Quest2 soon instead of some real hmd so your future PCVR games look a bit better (but still mobile like). /s

    I’m starting to think only Sony can increase the bar with upcoming PS5+PSVR2 combo otherwise it looks with Facebook as a ‘leader’ the PCVR market is lost.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      There won’t be a PSVR2 for quite some time, don’t expect one before at least summer next year.