Gorilla Tag reached 2.3m monthly visitors (partly) because of TikTok
The Immersive Wire - 23 January 2023 (Monday Briefing)
I analyse the metaverse every Monday, recapping the most important stories. Join 5,000 other professionals and subscribe to upskill yourself:
Welcome to your weekly briefing on the metaverse. Here are your snippets to sound smarter in meetings this week:
- Headlines: Linux Foundation unveiled the Open Metaverse Foundation (analysis below).
- Stat of the week: Gorilla Tag is a popular VR game, with 2.3m monthly active users and 52,000 Quest Store ratings (analysis below, inc. how it got popular).
- Conversation-starter: Nearly half of traditional game developers believe that the metaverse will not fulfil its promise, according to a survey from GDC.
- Other stories: Apple put its AR project on hold, Seoul launched its own consumer metaverse, and Neopets Metaverse raised $4m in funding (more below).
- Community insights: 61% of readers believe that generative AI will disrupt the metaverse.
- “The ability to quickly and easily create immersive experiences without having to learn creation tools, or indeed be a designer at all will mean that anyone can create content and there will be an explosion of people 'creating' immersive experiences.” - Linda Ricci, XR exec.
Which of the following may convince the traditional gaming sector to adopt the metaverse further?
Gorilla Tag is a huge VR hit, where 760,000 people played on Christmas Day alone.
- What is it? Gorilla Tag is a tag-like game where players can hop and roam through areas, avoiding other players while socialising. It is free on Quest, with a Steam Early Access version for $20 - though much of its revenue comes from in-game purchases. The game has done very well for developer Another Axiom, with $26m in revenue and surpassing Beat Saber in the top spot of the Quest Store (in terms of ratings).
- How did it get so popular? Fun gameplay and TikTok. Virality on the platform led to 4.4bn views on #gorillatag, which prompted a surge of players. The company said they used almost no direct marketing, relying on positive word of mouth from Gorilla Tag players beyond social media. This tells me that, alongside a good game, developers could look into stronger social sharing features or seek high-quality content on key platforms. As much as TikTok is seen with a wary eye by some, it's clearly a key one for many.
Linux Foundation unveils the Open Metaverse Foundation to create - you guessed it - open-source software.
- What is it? The Open Metaverse Foundation (OMF) seeks to make a 'collab space' for making open-source software and standards for the metaverse. The founder wants the metaverse to be inclusive, scaleable, and vendor-neutral. Among others, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Futurewei, and GenXP have all joined.
- How does it stack against other standards orgs? The OMF will collaborate with the Metaverse Standards Forum, developing a lot of the code necessary. While one is more a discussion plaza, the other sounds like it will get their hands dirty on the task.
- How long would it take to come up with standards? Perhaps about 18 months, according to Royal O’Brien, executive director of the OMF.
Other notable stories
Got any stories? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
- Apple has reportedly put its AR project on hold.
- ArborXR launched a new podcast on XR Industry Leaders.
- Arvizio announced a new array of features for their no-code AR instructor solution.
- Condense announced its integration with Ready Player Me.
- GoodbyeWorld Games will publish Before Your Eyes on PSVR 2 on 10 March.
- Imvizar is the only Irish finalist in the prestigious SXSW Pitch competition and the only XR startup in any category outside XR.
- ITIF, a think tank, outlined 15 immersive tech safety threats in a new report.
- JigSpace will host a meetup in London on 2 February (I will be coming along too).
- Lightspeed, a VC, hired Moritz Baier-Lentz to join the consumer team as a Partner.
- Metadome.ai launches MGverse, a replica of the MG pavillion.
- Metahood, a real-estate platform, raised $3m in funding.
- MetaJuice unveiled the fastest-selling virtual goods on its platform, including pop neon hair, idol fade hair, and streetwear blue sneakers.
- Not going to lie, I did not expect hair to outsell sneakers.
- Neopets Metaverse raised $4m in funding.
- Prisms VR, a learning platform, announced the consumer launch of its VR math learning solution.
- Realize Medical announced that its VR surgical planning tool received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Rotate and Remain, two Scandinavian fashion brands, partnered with the Ifland metaverse via 20 digital assets.
- Royal Society of Medicine signed a deal with Bodyswaps to create healthcare training simulations with AI and VR.
- SenseGlove opened up in the Amsterdam stock exchange.
- Seoul launched its own consumer metaverse.
- Colossal Cave, the 3D interpretation of the original text adventure, will come to PSVR 2 in 2023.
- Smart Retail Tech is happening from late February.
- Sony announced all the games coming out for the PSVR 2 when it releases next month.
- The Boundary acquired BuildMedia, which specialises in immersive content.
- The Metaverse Interop Show is a new series that explores interoperability, hosted by Jesse Alton.
- United States Space Force launched the “Earhart” satellite into the metaverse, in collaboration with Thunderbird and ASU.
- Vertigo Games launched the VR puzzle-platformer PathCraft on Quest 2.
- Woodstock World is a metaverse equivalent of the titular festival, made by Sequin AR.
- World Economic Forum partnered with Accenture and Microsoft to develop the Global Collaboration Village.
- Disclaimer: I work at Accenture within its metaverse group, and I assisted the World Economic Forum with two of its recent metaverse-related papers.
Need some assistance from other readers? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
- Helen Ponsford (Senior Programme Editor): The Economist is looking to speak to industry experts to research the agenda of The Economist's Enterprise Metaverse Summit taking place in London 27th - 28th June 2023. The event will help senior leaders build and benefit from digital twins to enhance productivity. If participating would be of interest to your company, please get in touch with Helen to discuss.
That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. Have an excellent day!