Survios' Raw Data may be VR's first hit game, with more $1 million in sales

The virtual-reality startup's competition fighting game has hit a new milestone in sales and offered a datapoint of the industry's health.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
Enlarge Image

Shooting in Raw Data.


Virtual reality is in the show-me stage.

By the end of this year, all the major companies that plan to offer VR headsets will have released their wares. There's Facebook's Oculus VR, which released the Gear VR in partnership with Samsung last year for $99 and its high-end Rift headset this year for $599. The HTC Vive, built together with game maker Valve, was released earlier this year as well, for $799. Sony's PlayStation VR will arrive on store shelves in October for $399. Others, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, are working on their own takes on this technology.

While it's compelling to strap a screen so close to your face that it convinces your brain the computer-generated images are real, it's still unclear whether anyone will actually want to use this technology.

Enter Survios, an LA-based VR startup that's already won industry awards for one of its first games, Zombies on the Holodeck.

Its latest title, a shooting game called Raw Data, may offer the first sign of what real consumers think of this technology. The company told Fast Company that Raw Data tallied $1 million in the month since it went on sale in July. Survios charges $40 for the game.

Sure, that tally's nowhere close to the record-holding $1 billion in sales that Take-Two Interactive's non-VR Grand Theft Auto V pulled in over just three days on the market, but it's a start.

"It's a strong indicator that consumers are enthusiastic for more premium content that offers a rich and deep game-play experience," said James Iliff, creative chief at Survios and a co-founder of the company.