On January 6th, Owlchemy Labs’ CEO Alex Schwartz announced their premier VR game, Job Simulator, crossed the $3 million in sales and 250 million YouTube views milestone. Keep in mind this figure is calculated before the platforms take their 30% cut however, it does represent the highest grossing VR game in history. In 2016 Survios and Cloudhead Games each announced their titles, Raw Data and The Gallery Episode 1: Call of Starseed, respectively, each earned over $1 million in sales marking a milestone in VR history at the time. With the latest announcement from Owlchemy Labs, we can expect to see more games and applications reach even higher milestones once more VR devices are sold. Owlchemy also mentioned it was the most popular VR game sold to date.
The company was fortunate enough to get bundled with the launch of all three major VR platforms, the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Playstation VR. This definately had an effect on sales, but according to Schwartz, most of the revenue came from selling the games in their respective stores for Steam, Rift, and PSVR where it debuted to be the best selling PSVR title in 2016.
For those not familiar with Job Simulator, the year is 2050 and robots have taken over the world. You play one of the last human beings in multiple, level based, roles: convenience store clerk, gourmet chef, auto mechanic, and office worker. With each role, you must pass 15 different levels in order to master that role. It’s easier than it sounds because sometimes your robot overlords aren’t happy with your work and you have to start all over again.
The game has a special tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps you smiling as your toil your way around each of the 60 levels in the game. The design, in my opinion, is very well executed. Not knowing how much room people have to work with, you can play the entire game by standing in one spot. In the kitchen, for instance, there’s a knob that drops the sink down and brings up the blender as well as multiple other device switching options in the kitchen like the grill vs. the giant pot and other options on all the different jobs.
The levels start with a robot CRT coming towards you and giving you your next assignment. It’s practically impossible to fail since they designed the game to replace items, like the stapler, in case you throw it over the cube wall to the robot working there, or lose money while acting as the convenience store clerk.
In this scenario, you play a human working in a typical cubical city with other robots in their respective cubes. you’re tasked with making photo copies, firing employees, participating in an office birthday, creating false revenue reports to show management, etc. Having worked in a cubicle myself, I found it pretty funny as well as fun to play.
Here you’re the chef of a restaurant where you must cook up steaks, sandwiches, and are even allowed to get creative on occasion. During your time as the chef, a robot TV film crew comes in to film a mock Gordon Ramsey edition of his TV show where you play the star. Again, I couldn’t help but to laugh my way through the act that was my cooking career considering I don’t do much of the cooking at home.
Convenience store clerk
As the convenience store clerk it’s your job to stand behind the counter and take orders from people coming in and getting their daily fix of convenience items like a slushy, soda, candy, etc. You even get held up at gun point in one level and need to give everything over to the robot waving a gun in your face. While each level is different, I never found the game to get old by completing menial tasks since they kept each level fraught with new and inventive material.
Out of all the job, this one was definitely my favorite, probably because I have no idea how to be an auto mechanic and most of it was guess work for me. It also did take the longest amount of time to figure out how to fix each car and interpret what the robot customers wanted, exactly. I had a lot of fun with the game. The only thing that really bummed me out was the lack of replay-ability. Sure, you can play in spectator mode and watch other people play their game, but that wasn’t nearly as fun as playing myself.
All in all, it’s no wonder why this game is the most popular game on VR. It’s fun for people of all ages, it’s got some good tongue-in-cheek humor I thought was amusing, and there was definitely a sense of accomplishment when I finished all the levels on each job. If you don’t have it in your VR library already, I highly suggest picking up a copy. You and the rest of your friends who play it will all find different parts they like the best. I’m really looking forward to their new games.
They’re currently working on the Adult Swim published Rick & Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality, as well as some of their other original IP games.
If you’re interested in getting in contact with the gang from Owlchemy Labs they can be reached via any of the following ways: