In the current stage of VR app development, usage analytics are gold. We’ve covered this concept a few times, including Google’s user data releases. But the latest comes from Unity, which you can see below in this week’s featured video.

Speaking at Oculus Connect 4, Unity Analytics presented usage data that reveal game and app development best practices. But beyond specific data points, the underlying message is that perpetual attention to usage data is critical to optimize any game or app.

“Data matters within your own circumstances and application,” said Unity Analytics GM John Cheng. “It matters that you are tracking and understanding on a day to day, minute by minute and user by user basis, so you can take advantage of these insights.”

As for specific data points, Cheng’s highlight reel includes:

Mobile VR represents 67 percent of global VR installs.
Takeaway: Developers should adopt free-to-play monetization structures (i.e. in-game-purchases). It’s a proven model that users have gotten used to, and distribution channels have been built around (i.e. app stores).

Nine of the top ten VR experiences in terms of retention rates are games.
Takeaway: You don’t have to build games, but one key component driving retention is game mechanics. Game mechanics like leaderboards can be incorporated into non-game VR experiences to drive stickiness.

There are different install and engagement behaviors in different geographic regions, such as downloads versus retention.
Takeaway: These regions require a certain amount of customization in how apps are packaged, delivered and priced.

There are behavioral differences between new VR users and early adopters. The latter spend more time in a greater number of apps. 
Takeaway: Developers should segment users and optimize experiences accordingly. Early adopters should receive frequently-refreshed experiences (as they run out of content). New users should get education and smoother on-boarding processes.

Check out the full session video below, which is choc full of usage data, and lessons for how to optimize VR games and apps.

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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.

Header Image Credit: Unity