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.
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
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.