VRChat is a social VR app that enables both VR and non-VR users to connect with one another and chat and explore the experiences and worlds that are created by the community in the VR app. Since its inception on Steam in early 2017, the app has grown by leaps and bounds into a popular digital marketplace.
The app first went viral in 2018 when it saw a massive rise in its user base in just a month peaked at 20,000 concurrent users on Steam. That spike eventually subsided but an appreciable number of users stuck around and the Metaverse continued to register growth.
In July 2019, VRChat had about 8,000 concurrent users. By July of this year, that figure had grown to 15,500 users without accounting for the thousands of users who are using the app on the Quest and Rift platforms.
Following a spike in usage during the Coronavirus pandemic, the social VR app hit a new record of 24,000 concurrent users according to VRChat CEO Graham Gaylor. According to the creators, this surge has also been driven by the launch of the Oculus Quest 2 headset as well as by the virtual Halloween activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on social gatherings. The new 24,000 record has surpassed its previous of record of 20,000 concurrent users way back in 2018 when the app initially went viral on Twitch. The number does not factor in those VRChat users who participate in the Metaverse via an Oculus Rift (S) or Oculus Quest without Steam. VRChat appeared on the Rift S platform at the end of 2018 and on the Quest platform in May 2019.
It appears that Twitch has also contributed to the latest surge having recorded several major recent peaks in viewership from the month of September 2020. All of this was much higher than the original Twitch spike that drove VRChat’s initial popularity. Recently, VRChat app hit 2 million followers on Twitch.
One of the attractive features about VRChat compared to other social VR apps is that the platform provides users with freedom of expression. Creative minds on VRChat can easily create their own rooms and avatars on their computers and then import them into the social VR app. Gradually, this has created a diverse and robust metaverse that invites the user to explore and meet other people.
The percentage of VRChat users using virtual reality headsets has also increased. According to Gaylor, the proportion using VR headset has increased over the past few months from about 30% in April 2020 to 43% in October 2020.
Over the Halloween weekend, some 52% of users used Virtual Reality headsets which is approximately 12,500 users.
For some comparison, the best-selling Virtual Reality game Beat Saber has registered a maximum of just 4,500 concurrent Steam players since its launch. That is without factoring players on the Quest and PSVR platforms.
Other developers have also seen an upsurge of app usage following the release of the Quest headset, further highlighting the impressive sales performance of Facebook’s new headset which has seen record sales.