Oculus Ditches VR Film Studio

/ 7 months ago

Oculus Ditches VR Film Studio

Oculus has announced that its award-winning virtual reality film studio is to close, just two years after it opened. Jason Rubin, VP of Content, has revealed the Facebook-owned company has decided that its Story Studio has run its course. Rubin explains, though, that Oculus is “still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem.” The company’s efforts will now be focused on financially and technologically supporting other VR filmmakers, rather than continue to produce content in-house.

A Shift of Focus

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production,” Rubin says in a blog post. “As part of that shift, we’ll be winding down Story Studio.”

“Now that a large community of filmmakers and developers are committed to the narrative VR art form, we’re going to focus on funding and supporting their content,” he explains. “This helps us turn our internal research, development, and attention towards exciting but unsolved problems in AR and VR hardware and software.”

$250M of Additional VR Funding

The death of Oculus‘ film production arm does not mean it has totally abandoned VR content creation, though. Instead, Oculus will reinvest the studio’s budget into third-party production of VR content.

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“Last year, we committed an additional $250M to fund VR content from developers all over the world,” Rubin reveals. “That investment supported games like Robo Recall, Rock Band VR, and Wilson’s Heart, plus powerful VR experiences like Through the Ages from Felix & Paul and the Follow My Lead experience featuring the 2016 NBA finals.”

“We’re going to carve out $50M from that financial commitment to exclusively fund non-gaming, experiential VR content,” he adds. “This money will go directly to artists to help jumpstart the most innovative and groundbreaking VR ideas.”

Oculus Story Studio produced the award-winning and critically lauded short VR films Dear Angelica and Henry (pictured above). Story Studio’s end will not impact its existing back catalogue, though. All content produced by the studio will remain available on the Oculus Store, likely for the foreseeable future.

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