[Theta Legion VR] Notes after Publishing

theta legion vr | Notes after Publishing+METRICS

Since I’ve been talking and sharing numbers with a whole bunch of other indie developers about their recent launch on various platforms, and ours, I thought I ought to put some of our official numbers in this blog, exactly a month after launching on the Oculus Go store.


Aside a few “corrections” we received from Oculus, and a bit of trial and error on some image formats, the launch was pretty smooth (or at least, smoother than it would have been on a major console). Our game went live at some point early December 12th on the Oculus Store, at https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1891861000921757/
Because we didn’t wanted to lock ourselves into what could end-up being an expensive and time-consuming maintenance, we decided to launch the game for free.

The day of launch, we got about 220 installs, with December 13th being our best day ever, at 322 daily installs, for 301 concurrent and single users. The install rate declined after, at the exception of a notable boost December 18th (UploadVR article) and December 25th and 26th (most likely Christmas, and an influx of new users)

So far, we enjoyed above 3834 installs (with 759 uninstalls)


Our usage statistics are matching our expectations. With an average play session of 8 minutes, which is in-line with what I was expecting for VR (short, burst-like play sessions), we averaged about 150 users playing per day, with major spikes around the holidays, and the first few days of launch.
Headphones usage account for 16.21% of the user base.
Surprisingly, a little bit under 6% of our users are using a gamepad: this is higher than expected as we didn’t design the game to be compatible with anything but the Go controller – but realized we were ‘accidentally’ compatible with ‘some’ bluetooth gamepads 🙂


With very little PR effort from us, we got a pretty limited exposure:

– At launch, we got a nice review from Ramarcus Youtube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWfdJzgQsbo) that most likely helped boost our install base

– A few days later (December 18th) we got a nice article in UploadVR covering our game, alongside Slightly Heroes, as examples of the genre successfully using full locomotion. (https://uploadvr.com/these-2-new-oculus-go-shooters-prove-it-can-handle-the-genre-well/) – this led to a noticeable bump in our installs that day.

– A few Reddits posts covered our games, and a few users posted “let’s play” reviews, such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP5gsLw0d-g

And that’s pretty much it, which is not surprising given that we put zero effort on a press outreach before the launching date.


At the moment, we are sitting on a rating of 3.97 stars out 5 with 103 votes. We stayed far above 4.20 stars for a while, and only recently have we seen the game get a significant amount of 1 star ratings. Not sure what this is about, the game being free, I don’t know why users would try to review-bomb the game, and what’s to hate in a free game anyway :)?

This said, our 5 stars and 4 stars rating still represent respectively 57% and 16% (so a comfortable 73%) of the votes while our 2 stars and 1 star ratings represent both 11% of the votes.

The players that took the time to leave comments (28 of them so far) are usually very happy with the experience, with the most up-voted (22 votes) comment being :

Cant believe its free! Wow!
First… I want to say to the 3 star review that clicking on both sides let you turn 90degrees. Hopefully that can help you enjoy the game :). The game is visually incredible. The 2D sprites mixed with the 3D with pixelated textures throw you back in your classics (such as doom3D) with a modern twist to it. The sounds are also well designed. The atmosphere and enemy sounds are great. Voices for missions are well done. The controls are perfect. We are getting used to the free locomotion (most games are using it) and the addition of “point over head” to change gun is appreciated. Old school shooter, old school visuals, fresh design and it’s free. Any 30+ years old should play this game… It will bring back old memories! And 30- should give it a try! It’s a really well done game.
With a few others of my favorite being:
One of the best games for the Go
This game is fantastic!! Although i havent gotten passed the last level this game has blown me away, from the deep atmosphere to the intense shooting. While the controls do take a bit getting used too (I still accidentally click the 180 button a lot) The game becomes that much more satisfying once you do. Circle strafing and shooting that alien boss while it was spitting acid at me was one of the best experiences i had on the Go, because i was in full control of it! It wasn’t a on rails, stationary, anything mobile game like. This feels like a huge step above mobile vr gaming!! Excited to see where this leads to weather it be fine tweaks n left as is or huge updates including, a procedural generation mode, new maps for the story and last stand mode. (Im hoping for the pg mod. Id easily pay for more updates!)
Compound for the Go – and *free*?!!
There is a game on the ‘big-boy’ VR platforms called Compound – a homage to the 16 bit era of fps’s. I paid what I thought to be a pricy ticket for (what is) an early access game. Still no regrets, what blew my mind was how exciting and novel it was to be *IN* a retro-game – against all logic, the pixelated graphics worked so goddam well. Now the Go has it’s own version – and it costs sweet-fanny-addams (=nothing) ! So is it good? Hot-potatoes yes! It is as good as Compound – I may even like it better. I would say ‘go out and buy it now!’ …. but you can’t, it’s free!!! WHAT?!! One gripe and it is a gripe I seem to be putting on all reviews – CONTROLLER SUPPORT! If *any* game needs full controller support, it is this one. I want to lie on my big fat back, Bluetooth controller in hand, and a good bottle of bourbon by my side – devs, please make it so (I will buy my own bourbon).
I also had the honor of being invited to discuss with a group of players on a Oculus Go dedicated Discord Chat, to talk about the game and get (positive) feedback from the players.


As we were working on the game, the goal quickly shifted from trying to make a (small) benefit to just finishing and publishing the game. So obviously we are very happy that the game was greenlit by Oculus and made it to the store, and has been enjoyed by close to 4K people.
I’ve always knew that our reach would be smaller than say, the stratospheric numbers of Lost Outpost: VR is still a niche technology, and we are distributing to a very restricted pool of players.
However, 4K players in a month is below my original expectations. Talking to many of my Indie friends, they usually see between 1% and 3% conversion rate from exposure to sales. I can’t really predict what the “long tail” of this game will be, but we have hardly the numbers to turn a profit if we wanted to, which is worrisome for future products and VR-friendly indie studios as well.
Now, I’m well aware than a much bigger push, and time spent on correct PR could have impacted our numbers significantly – and that I was reluctant putting that time for a free product (as my focus had already turned to other projects) and that some other developers might be much luckier than us – but as far as my experience stands, this confirm a trend I observed lately on VR games around me: past the original “gold rush” a year or so ago, VR games can be time consuming and demanding to make, and can struggle to be a worthy time/skill investment.
It is also worth considering that the long tail of such games is most likely going to be negatively impacted by the technological fast rotation: with Oculus Quest arriving in a few months, it is likely that Oculus Go games will suffer and decline.

Hence, as we say in France: CQFD as in “This (now) Has Been Demonstrated” 🙂
However, expect more VR products from Garage Collective in the future!