Some Of Daydream’s Biggest Apps May Have Sold Fewer Than 5,000 Copies

by Jamie Feltham • December 27th, 2016

When it comes to VR sales data, most companies aren’t playing their cards close to their chest so much as taping the cards to themselves. We’ve had to rely on software sales to get some inkling of an idea at how headsets and their software are performing.

Thanks to Android’s built-in statistics for apps, we can now do that for Daydream.

Many of Daydream’s apps, some made by notable developers and publishers, don’t appear to have been installed many times. In fact, lots of them have sold less than 5,000 units and could have sold as little as 1,000.

Daydream apps are bought and downloaded from the Google Play Store, just like traditional smartphone apps on Android. The listings for these experiences include a wide window for the number of times they’ve been installed. Hugely popular AR app Pokemon Go, for example, has been installed between 100 million – 500 million times while an unofficial companion app buried in the store has between 100 and 500 installs.

A lot of Daydream apps haven’t yet passed the 1,000 – 5,000 installs window. Looking at it optimistically, the best performing app thus far is YouTube VR, a free and official app that’s been installed between 100,000 – 500,000 times. It’s important to note, however, that some of these may be erroneous downloads. We’re also not sure if people that don’t own a Daydream headset can download its apps, and have reached out to Google to clarify. On the other hand, there are also likely Daydream owners that haven’t downloaded YouTube yet.  

We also don’t know how up-to-date the data is. With Christmas having just happened, and no doubt more headsets being sold, it’s possible these numbers have increased greatly and not been updated yet.

We’ve sifted through the biggest apps yet released on the platform, split them up into three launch windows and then listed them in descending price order.

Launch apps (November 10th):

Hunters Gate, from Climax Studios ($5.99) – 5,000 – 10,000

Danger Goat, from nDreams ($5.99) – 1,000 – 5,000

EarthShape, from Bithell Games ($4.99) – 1,000 – 5,000

YouTube VR, from Google (Free) – 100,000 – 500,000

Released later in November:

DRIFT, from SharpSense ($10.99) – 1,000 – 5,000

The Arcslinger, from Big Red Button Entertainment ($4.99) – 5,000 – 10,000

Frostbound, from Schell Games ($4.99) – 1,000 – 5,000

The Turning Forest, from BBC (Free) – 10,000 – 50,000

Released in December:

Need for Speed: No Limits VR, from Electronic Arts ($14.99) – 1,000 – 5,000

Gunjack 2: End of Shift, from CCP Games ($12.99) – 1,000 – 5,000

Layers of Fear: Solitude, from Aspyr ($9.99) – 500 – 1,000

Untethered, from Numinous Games ($4.99) – 100 – 500

Netflix VR, from Netflix (Free) – 10,000 – 50,000

It’s certainly surprising to see big names likes Need for Speed and Gunjack 2 with less than 5,000 installs after being released a few weeks ago, and even more surprising to see titles like Layers of Fear: Solitude sell less than 1,000 copies. But there are better performing apps in each window, like Hunters Gate at launch, The Arcslinger in later November, and Netflix VR in December.

Though sales may appear to be meager, it’s possible that some developers aren’t suffering from them. Google has a lot of exclusives in place on the platform right now, including Gunjack 2 and Need for Speed and, while it hasn’t discussed the deals it strikes with developers, they could well be funding these projects in exchange for exclusivity, similar to Oculus’ Studios initiative.

The Daydream platform currently extends to Google’s own headset and smartphones, Daydream View and Pixel handsets, along with the Moto Z smartphone. Perhaps as more phones and headsets come on board, we’ll see sales for these apps pick up.

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  • jimrp

    Thats what happens when only two phones work with it.

    • Armand LePrince

      very true. And theses phones costs as much as buying oculus or htc vive (and a cheap phone to call your best friends, the vive and oculus don’t propose the “phone call” function natively. Doh’ !)

      • jimrp

        I would agree with you on the cost but i have Tmobile. I can switch phones out three times a year for free well sometime you have to pay taxes.

  • Linked Devices

    It’ll pick up eventually when they improve the hardware. The pixel is just a terrible introduction into daydream as a vr platform. Google really shot themselves in the foot by not waiting until the daydream could be optimized to work at least as well as the Gear vr. The daydream just kind of reestablished how amazing the Gear vr is. When trying the Gear vr you’re genuinely shocked by how similar the experience is to a full on oculus rift. With the daydream you just feel disappointed by how it falls so short.

    It’s really surprising how the Gear vr worked so much better than the daydream view does now 2 years ago. I guess the proprietary oculus optimisation does make a big difference

  • Constantin S.

    Nothing to worry about, Google just announced Daydream and developers didn’t had enough time to launch many apps, 2017 will surely be amazing for VR.

  • Fallout09

    I have bought a few daydream games… But the prices of some of these games is shocking. Maybe if they gave a timed demo, I might consider paying 10 to 15 bucks for a mobile game.

    • Tommy

      People won’t even stop complaining about 10 bucks for a Super Mario game. What more a VR game where the waters are still untested. At least for new VR users IMO.

  • It takes time to start a new ecosystem… some analysts made super forecast for Daydream in 2016, but they were fool.. Daydream will have its time in the next months

    • Augure

      Oh yeah I remember when it took 3 years for the iPhone to sell 6 millions units…

  • Doctor Bambi

    I mean, the platform has been available for two months. I don’t remember exactly, but didn’t GearVR take at least 6 months to reach 1,000,000 active users? And that was only after two commercially available “Innovator Editions” had been on the market the entire year before.

    These numbers seem on target for me and if anything probably show a greater flow of new users than GearVR which means an up-current the industry as a whole. I’ll be more interested in sales numbers come this time next year.

    • AbbyZFresh

      The difference is that there are far more Galaxy S6/S7s and Galaxy Note 4/5/7s in use that are compatible with Gear VR than there are Google Pixels. Plus Samsung has far more apps on the Oculus Store for Gear VR than Daydream.

      • jasonthedesigner

        I was wondering when someone would mention how many PIxels were sold, a statistic that seems very relevant to the download statistic.

      • Doctor Bambi

        There are quite a few factors that ultimately lead to the numbers we’re seeing in this article. I’m just trying to point out that Daydream is in its infancy as a platform, and is going to grow very quickly.

        At the moment, yes, more phones support GearVR, but it won’t take long for more Daydream ready phones to outnumber GearVR models. GearVR basically supports s6, s7, and Note 5 (Note 4 is not supported on the CV and we all know what happened to Note 7). At the moment there are only 2 phones considered Daydream ready, Pixel and Moto Z. So it’s only behind by two models, and more than likely we will see a few more Daydream Ready phones unveiled at CES next week.

        I love my GearVR, and all the awesome content it provides, but thinking of the long game, Google is positioned to grab up more of the market. It doesn’t mean GearVR will go away. Both will continue to innovate in their own ways. We’ll probably see Daydream take on the role of VR liberator, providing mobile VR to just about everyone on Android. This will come at the cost of a more unstable platform, but be plenty good for most people. Whereas GearVR will represent the high end mobile VR experience, more refined/stable, but only available to a small handful of devices.

        • Jim Cherry

          ces probably wont have any daydream ready phones. High end phones are anounced at mobile world congress in February or at their own events later on in the year

  • Ad Guy

    The problem is, I can’t tell which is a Daydream app and what isn’t.

  • Hayk Amirbekyan

    daydream view headset sucks and there aren’t enough phones compatible with daydream. what did you expect?

    • Murrzeak

      You own one?..

  • MrChris

    I’ve bought a few and I never buy games on the app store. Quality device. You have to bare in mind that not many people have bought daydream headsets yet as only you need an expensive pixel device for them to work.

  • Murrzeak

    1. Prices are too high 2. Only few devices support it.