Gaming Virtual Reality Games Statistics (Updated Statistics)

Virtual Reality Games Statistics (Updated Statistics)

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One of the newest trends when it comes to video games is virtual reality (VR). These are games played in an immersive generated world.

Instead of staring into a square screen directly in front of you to play a game, VR allows you to become a part of the game, letting you look around and move as if you were actually part of the action. 

The statistics below provide more information about virtual reality as a whole as well as statistics specifically focused on gaming in VR. Learn more about the growing industry and ways that virtual reality is changing the gaming industry as a whole. 

Keep reading to learn more about what takes to be a successful VR game, other popular games to base your game on, and how the market is expected to grow. You may just find inspiration to make your own hit VR game.

Check out this article where I go over How Many Gamers are currently in the world with some in-depth statistics.

Quick Statistics

  • Over 171 million people across the globe use VR technology.
  • The U.S. virtual reality gaming industry generated $286 million in revenue in 2018 alone.
  • It’s estimated to cost $5,000 to create a straightforward VR game. 
  • 55% of people interviewed who don’t own VR equipment say that cost is a major hurdle to them buying a VR headset. 
  • Roughly 70%of the people who own a VR use for gaming at least some of the time.
  • The creative industries, which include gaming, account for half of the VR industry.

What is VR?

 An infographic offering some quick statistics about virtual reality, including some of the main uses of VR, the main workforce development benefits, and some of the barriers to using it from FinancesOnline

Virtual reality is a form of a 3D environment that allows users to explore and interact with virtual worlds. It’s often used alongside headsets and handheld controllers that enable better visuals of this virtual reality and more freedom when it comes to movement.

An infographic explaining the differences between augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality from TechTarget

As shown in the image above, while virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality are often clumped together, there are a few main differences.

Virtual reality allows someone to be completely immersed in the simulation. This usually includes allowing them to move around and explore different areas within reason. 

Mixed reality and augmented reality are a little different. Augmented reality allows you to add some simulation to the real world. Good examples of this are games like Pokemon Go or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Mixed reality is a blend of the two above. It creates an immersive world but does so by blending real-world and simulated-world environments. 

A pie graph showing how much of the market is made up of buyers in the United States, in dark pink from the AcademyofAnimatedArt

Virtual reality is growing in popularity rapidly. The penetration rate as of 2024 is 24.8%. In the next four years, it is expected to reach closer to 55.9%. In the United States alone, over 64 million people have a VR system. 53 million of those are adults, while 26% of teens own one as well. 

Top Virtual Reality Games

There were quite a few games that quickly grew popular on VR. The most notable is Beat Saber. This is a game that allows the player to cut little cubes open to the beat of their favorite songs.

It not only is fun and has a lot of replayability, but it also promotes exercise. The game is often described as a blend between Tron and Guitar Hero

Lost Recipes was also popular for a while. Even though the game had a lot of quirks, it was one of the first games available in VR and showed a lot of potential for virtual reality games as a whole. As the title suggests, the game is a cooking simulator. 

Resident Evil 4 VR is another great example of a popular VR game. It was a more classic horror game available on the GameCube and released in 2005. It wasn’t made for VR, but it was ported and adjusted to make it a VR game. 

These are just some examples of the top ones, but there are so many more. Here is a snapshot of some virtual reality games people enjoy or have enjoyed since VR gaming became a possibility. 

RankingGamesNumber of Reviews
1Half-Life: Alyx54,354
2Beat Saber52,371
3Pavlov VR25,476
4Blade & Sorcery23,520
5Boneworks23,014
6Hot Dogs, Horseshoes, & Hand Grenades12,722
7Gorilla Tag10,544
8Onward6,783
9Gorn6,592
10Arizona Sunshine6,055
11The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR5,351
12Superhot VR5,095
13The Lab5,023
14The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners4,956
15VTOL VR3,933
16Fallout 4 VR3,820
17Propagation VR3,088
18Google Earth VR3,009
19Zero Caliber VR2,758
A table breaking down the 19 most-downloaded VR games of all time on Stream from InfoGraphicsArchieve

As you can see from above, there’s no specific genre for VR games. Horror games that make your skin crawl and leave you desperate to rip off your headset are just as good as ones involving mini-sports, first-person shooters, party games, fantasy action games, or even more casual games

There are some ‘games’ out there that just introduce you to places you’d never see anywhere else, such as the bottom of the ocean, another planet, or a fantasy land. There are also more MMORPG games out there for those who want to socialize and interact with other people while on their VR headsets. 

The Global VR Market

There are a few factors to consider when thinking about the global VR market. Namely, there are three to consider, which are the age range of most users, their location in the world, and what kind of headsets are the most popular. 

Age Groups Using VR Technology

Age GroupPercentage of Users
Gen Z45%
Millennials31%
Gen X18%
Boomers6%
A table showing the breakdown of what percentage each generation accounts for in the total VR technology users from AcademyofAnimatedArt

As you can see from the chart above, most of the users of VR technology are in the younger age group. This comes as no surprise, as younger generations tend to pick up new devices and trends the easiest.

The Gen Z age group, between 12 and 27 years old, and Millennials, 28 to 43 years old, are the primary users of VR technology. About 30% of both generations have tried out VR technology in some way. 

However, Gen X, 44 to 59 years old, and Boomers, 60 to 78 years old, also use VR technology. 26% of Gen X have used this tech at least once, while only 13% of Boomers have done the same.

Countries Using VR

An infographic showing the top four markets in extended reality and their projected growth from MarketsandMarkets

When considering making a VR game, one needs to think about the audience. Two of the biggest markets are in the US and Asia Pacific. While Asia Pacific’s market isn’t large yet, it’s growing quickly and is the fastest-growing market for VR across the globe. 

Check out this article to find out more about Mobile Games Statistics.

Europe is also worth considering. Though it’s not the largest market, it does still have a good-sized audience for VR tech.

The Middle East and Parts of Africa are a relatively small part of the market but are expected to continue growing. It could be a good idea to target them early on and get into the market while there is little competition. 

When making a game for VR, it’s a good idea to target one of these markets as your audience. 

VR Headsets

 A graphic showing the top four VR headsets and their global unit sales, revenue, and market share by Statista

There are a few different headsets out there. Like with consoles, it’s important to pick consoles that are popular and can handle the game’s full specs without stuttering. Currently, the Oculus Quest 2 by Meta dominates the market. It has revenue equalling 5.2 billion and makes up 75% of the VR market. 

PlayStation VR by Sony, HTC Vive Pro 2 by HTC, and Valve Index are also some of the biggest VR companies on the market. However, they have nothing on Oculus. 

A graphic showing the projected growth of the Metaverse, based on three different scenarios from Statista

Meta’s Oculus is a good VR headset to invest in. The Metaverse is expected to only continue to increase in popularity. Even in the more conservative scenarios, the Metaverse is expected to draw in nearly $2 trillion.

A graphic showing how fast Meta is growing compared to other headsets from Statista

Here is another infographic comparing Meta to other headsets. However, this graphic not only shows how Oculus is the most popular headset, but how quickly it grew. In just a year, it went from controlling a third of the market, to three-quarters of it. 

While targeting Oculus audience members for a game is a good goal, you may also want to include other markets. Remember that most game developers will be looking at this chart and also thinking about targeting Oculus users when making their games. However, the other headsets are likely sorely underrepresented and users are looking for good games. 

While targeting one or several of the smaller companies may mean your total audience is lower, it may also mean you’re more likely to get noticed, as people will be more willing to try your game as there isn’t much competition.

How Many People Use VR for Gaming?

Roughly 7 out of 10 people who own and use their VR headset play games. This is one of the largest categories, as only 4 out of 10 users use their device to watch TV shows or movies, and three out of 10 say they use it for exercise. 

Games are half the reason that most people buy a VR headset in the first place. And once people get a VR headset, they’re likely to use it. While they might not use it every day like PC and console gamers do, it is still being used. 

Roughly 80% of people who own a VR headset use it a few times a month, while 60% of users use it multiple times a week. So once you convince someone to get a VR headset and buy your game, you can be sure it will be used. 

Additionally, even for those who didn’t get a VR headset specifically for gaming, it’s possible that they still use it for that purpose. People tend to use their headsets for multiple purposes. They’ll play games for a while, switch to watching a movie, and then attend work meetings. 

However, VR does have limitations on the length of time people will use them. Because people tend to get sick, and the headsets aren’t the most comfortable, using them for long periods of time at once isn’t common.

Only 13% of users say that they would spend more than an hour at a time using the headset without a break. 

This could mean that games that take longer to play, such as some first-person shooters where games can easily take over an hour to complete, may not be as attractive on VR headsets. Games that can be stopped whenever, or that have shorter matches are more likely to be popular. 

How Much Money Does The VR Gaming Industry Make?

Between mixed reality, AR, and VR, the total market size for these technologies will be roughly $1.2 trillion by 2035, with VR accounting for over $430 billion of that.

VR games are usually clumped into a category known as “creative industries.” This category encompasses not only games, but video entertainment, live events, and retail. Together, these industries will make up half of the VR market in 2025. 

Games, specifically, will reach a global market of $53.44 billion in 2028. 

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, has grossed over $100 million. While not every game can do this well, it does show the potential demand for good VR games.

Unfortunately, it’s hard for anything but big AAA companies to make good VR games. It’s thought that even making a simple virtual reality video game will cost a company over $5,000. It’s a bit risky to invest in a game when you’re not sure how close to a return on investment you’ll actually get. 

Roadblocks to Building an Audience

Unfortunately, there is a roadblock of sorts that comes with VR games. Many people don’t have space for VR headsets, making it unrealistic for them to spend money on the devices.

Other people, roughly 37%, who have a VR headset would never end up playing games on it because they get motion sick any time they are on the device. 

Of course, that’s just people who pretty much get sick any time they use VR. The number of people who get sick at all is closer to 50%.

Learn more about the Game Development Process in this article.

Though it costs a bit more in both time and money to make a game that is smooth to play, it’s very important to fight the right speed and movement styles. Too smooth or too chunky can cause motion sickness. 

A graph comparing familiarity with VR a few months apart with barriers to using VR in the same time period from Statista

Then, there is also the cost. Roughly 65% of people who don’t own a VR headset said they wouldn’t get one due to the cost. Due to the expensive cost of the headset and the high prices for games, it’s a bit intimidating for many people to invest in. 

To put it in a different light, roughly 37% of all VR users make over $100,000 a year, while another 32% make somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000, and another 25% make between $50,000 and $75,000. So it’s easy to see that most people who purchase a VR are ones who make a decent amount of money.

Thankfully, as VR becomes more common, the price will likely decrease a little. More competition and cheaper ways to make virtual reality tools and equipment will help to make these games and their devices more affordable, hopefully. 

What VR Games Need to Grow

A graphic showing how little VR hardware compares to standard video games as far as global user penetration from Statista

Companies can’t just port a game from PC to VR and expect it to go over well. While the first few games that did this did receive a good audience, most of it had to do with the fact that VR games were novel.

Games nowadays can’t hope for the same success. Roughly 66% of VR users now say that to invest in a new game on their device, it needs to be something they can’t get from traditional ones. 

A chart showing the growth of both AR and VR and how they’re projected to grow over the next few years from Statista

There’s a lot of potential when it comes to AR and VR, but there’s a lot of room to grow. It’s a struggle for companies to figure out whether to jump on the bandwagon now, and hope their game gets recognized with little competition, or wait until there is a bigger market. 

A chart showing the projected growth of VR gaming in North America, from 2017 to 2028 from FortuneBusinessInsights

Though VR games will likely not surpass standard video games anytime soon, that doesn’t mean that they’re doomed to failure. There is still a market for VR games, and a good chance to make money as a game company.

A graph that shows the VR gaming market in terms of hardware and software from GrandViewResearch

It’s not just VR games themselves that are in high demand. With VR growing at such a fast rate, there are constant demands for new and improved hardware too. Businesses can do well by investing in either side of the gaming industry for VR.

Additionally, if a business is worried that VR doesn’t have the capabilities to handle their game, there isn’t a need to worry. It’s very possible that in the next few years, the technology will be out to enable VR systems to support your game with proper graphics. 

A set of graphs comparing reasons why people won’t use VR tech from Statista

Earlier, infographics showed that the main reason people wouldn’t get VR tech was due to cost. This infographic above shows slightly different results, but it’s also older. It’s from 2017, which was relatively early in VR’s history. 

In the beginning, though the tech was interesting, there wasn’t much to show for it. There were a couple of games, but nothing super exciting, to make people want to go out and buy a VR headset right away. 

In just a few years, there were no more complaints about VR not having enough to keep them interesting. All sorts of games, technology, and applications came out that made VR much more practical to purchase. People could practice their favorite sports, play games, watch movies, and even learn with their VR headsets. 

This graph shows you how quickly the VR industry grew. While there wasn’t much to entertain people at the beginning, so many new things popped up in just a few years that completely changed people’s mindset. 

This is what the VR gaming industry needs to do specifically to stay relevant. While porting games is a great way to get people interested, it’s not enough to make VR gaming stand out from its competition.

Pushing the boundaries of VR and making VR games unique to anything gamers can play on a console or PC are the keys to improving the VR gaming industry.