Bow to Blood creator Tribetoy just offered a rare insight into the realities of becoming a successful PSVR developer.
In an Ask Me Anything session on r/PSVR last week, the developer revealed that it would probably need to sell 40,000 units to break even on its new VR game. “We need to sell around 28,000 copies at the current non-discount price to break even and that’s not counting me living off my bank account and not taking a salary for two years,” a member of the team explained, later adding that future sales would likely bring that up to arrow 40,000 units.
The studio confirmed that it takes 70% of the profits from each sale of Bow to Blood, with the other 30% going towards PlayStation, though it also revealed that the game was partially funded by Sony (which likely explains why it’s only appearing on PSVR right now).
“It was a very generous deal,” the studio explained. “Most of the time developers get much less but VR deals are a bit better as the user base is smaller so its harder to break even.”
Indeed, PSVR itself has sold three million units as of last month. That’s thought to be one of the largest install bases in the VR industry, but it pales in comparison to the wider 81 million units the PS4 itself had sold by July 2018.
“I’d guess many of the games you play in VR are made at a loss,” Tribetoy continued. “My guess is Sony provides money to Devs who have passion and an idea knowing they might not make the money back because they want to see the platform succeed and need to grow the user base.”
Bow to Blood, which launched late last month, is one of our surprise hits for the year. The tournament-based ship battler strikes an intriguing mix of strategic gameplay and relationship management that you shouldn’t miss.