2016 was certainly a roller coaster year for virtual reality (VR). The last 12 months have seen the release of several major head-mounted displays (HMDs), a raft of content across multiple disciplines – video games, 360 video, animation – and new and exciting innovations. But has all of that turned into profitable success? This week SuperData Research, in collaboration with Unity Technologies have released a report “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The 2016 Mobile and VR Games Year in Review“, looking at how the markets have performed.
In the companies findings they report that the total revenue for VR’s first year was $1.8 billion USD, attributing $718 million to PC, $687 million to mobile and $411 million to console. While actual headsets sold came in at 6.3 million, with Samsung Gear VR making up the majority with 4.51 million units, next was PlayStation VR with 750,000, HTC Vive at 420,000, Google Daydream VR at 260,000 and Oculus Rift comes in at 240,000. The report does note the total figure doesn’t include Google Cardboard, which has often been given out for free for promotional purposes.
For the general mobile video game industry the report found that $40.6 billion in worldwide revenue was generated in 2016, with Asia representing the largest mobile games market in the world, producing $24.8 billion in revenue, while North America and Europe generated $6.9 billion and $5.7 billion respectively.
“The sustained growth of the global mobile games market is helping to legitimize games in the traditional media landscape,” says Stephanie Llamas, VP of Research and Strategy of SuperData Research. “The size of the market is also attracting the leading players in the gaming market, as can be seen with Activision’s Blizzard deal to buy King and Tencent acquiring Supercell.”
“Players are installing more apps than ever and are more engaged with mobile games than TV and online videos,” shared John Cheng, General Manager of Unity Analytics. “They play six days a week and watch content only five. It’s been phenomenal to watch engagement on the different mobile and VR platforms grow, and that trend will continue to increase in the foreseeable future.”
The mobile and VR studies were based on the following: 49 million unique transacMons and 15 million unique gamers between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016, a survey of 1,000 U.S. mobile gamers from July 2016, data collected from partners in the VR Data Network and data from Unity, pulled from billions of installs across over 2.4bn unique devices. As yet none of the VR headset manufacturers – apart from Samsung – have released official sales figures so currently this report is the best you’ll get currently.
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