Image: Rune Skovbo Johansen
Despite good reviews, the PC VR game Eye of the Temple didn’t sell well enough to recoup its development costs. This changed with the Quest version.
Solo developer Rune Skovbo Johansen released the unique room-scale VR game Eye of the Temple on Steam in October 2021. Despite good reviews, the title didn’t sell as well as expected and didn’t initially recoup Johansen’s “investment”.
By “investment”, Johansen means the amount of money he would have made during the three-year development period if he hadn’t quit his old job to focus on the VR game and finish it.
In April 2023, Johansen released a port of the VR game for Meta Quest with the help of German VR studio Salmi Games. Eight months later, Johansen gives an update on the financial success of the game in his blog:
- Currently, the Quest version accounts for 70 percent of total revenue and the Steam version for 30 percent. The latter has been on the market for much longer.
- Total revenue is now at 140 percent of Johansen’s “investment,” which means the game has gone from a money-losing proposition to a success story. A year after the Steam release (October 2022), revenue was at 40 percent.
Johansen concludes in his blog:
“My investment is now covered 140%. In other words, even based on a proper salary for myself that’s fitting for my experience, Eye of the Temple has recently flipped well into profitability. That still doesn’t make it a runaway hit, but it’s really nice to know that it’s a success not only creatively and as a passion project, but also in terms of financial sustainability. Back in 2020 when I was still developing the game, I had not expected that at all for my first commercial title.”
Despite this success, Johansen does not want to continue with VR and is turning his attention to another project, the exploration game The Big Forest.
“I’m no longer working on the game [Eye of the Temple] at this point. After being occupied with it over a span of seven years, I really want to move on, and I’m also done with VR in general for now.”
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