Oculus VR closes Story Studio

May 5, 2017 | 11:43

Tags: #henry #jason-rubin #mark-zuckerberg #palmer-luckey #vr

Companies: #facebook #oculus #oculus-rift #oculus-vr

Facebook-owned Oculus VR has announced it is getting out of the content-creation business, shuttering its Story Studio division and instead concentrating on supporting third-party content creators.

Story Studio launched last year as Oculus VR's attempt to boost the popularity of virtual reality for non-gaming use, something Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pushed heavily as a core part of his vision following the company's acquisition. Over the course of its short history, Story Studio put out a series of short VR films, including Emmy Award-winning Henry, and created tools to assist artists in creating within a virtual environment. Now, though, Story Studio is no more, following a decision by the company to wind the division down as part of a move away from internal content creation.

'We’re now entering the next chapter of VR development, where new creators enter the market in anticipation of adoption and growth, and we’ve been looking at the best way to allocate our resources to create an impact on the ecosystem. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production,' claimed Oculus VR's Jason Rubin in a blog post announcing the move. '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. This helps us turn our internal research, development, and attention towards exciting but unsolved problems in AR and VR hardware and software. We’re still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem.'

While Story Studio is the most visible victim of the move away from internal content creation at Oculus VR, it's likely not the only one: Rubin's post is clear that the refocusing affects content in general, meaning Oculus VR is likely to be shifting its focus away from internally-developed gaming titles like Lucky's Tale to providing financial and development support to external developers.
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