Oculus, the VR firm acquired by Facebook in 2014, has announced it is shutting down its in-house VR content arm, Story Studio. That was followed by the Emmy-winning "Henry" in 2016 and "Dear Angelica", which premiered at Sundance in January of this year. That being said, a cursory glance at the VR stations at film festivals such as Tribeca and SXSW usually revolve around either cheaper and simpler 360-degree video demos on Google Cardboard or more elaborate and movement-friendly projects on the HTC Vive.
Jason Rubin, Oculus' vice president of content said, "We've been looking at the best way to allocate our resources to create an impact on the ecosystem". However, I did think the Story Studio would stick around for a bit longer, especially since short films like Henry and apps like Quill are held in such high regard.
Some may find this odd considering the fact that Facebook has a number of VR devices on the shelves for purchase today including the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, which only works with Oculus software.
"Last year, we committed an additional $250M to fund VR content from developers all over the world".
Oculus Story Studio launched when VR as a whole was still in its early infancy and the things it could offer were still largely relegated to creative imaginations. 'As part of that shift, we'll be winding down Story Studio. In March, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, who created the prototype Oculus headset, parted ways with Facebook.More news: Macron names Edouard Philippe as French prime minister
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While Facebook isn't giving up on virtual reality, the social giant is putting its related content efforts on hold.
Studios like Within, Baobab, Penrose, Felix & Paul, and plenty more have raised significant money in the pursuit of becoming defining studios in VR film. Among the projects that had been in development within the unit was a virtual reality adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Wolves in the Walls.
The spokesperson says that members of Story Studio's core team may either transition to new roles in Oculus or leave for other creative pursuits.
Brendan Iribe stepped down as CEO in December, saying he was going to head up the PC division of the VR company.