Oculus Studios: These 9 VR studios are now owned by Meta
Meta is investing aggressively in the VR games market, acquiring nine VR studios since late 2019.
According to Wikipedia, Meta has acquired 17 companies since November 2019. Nine, or more than half, are VR studios.
The aggressive acquisitions are one way Meta is expanding its control over the VR games market. By far the most successful and well-known VR game ever, Beat Saber, is owned by Meta. The company can thus decide on which platforms and devices Beat Saber is available and on which it is not. The same applies to the numerous titles from other Meta studios that are still in development.
Second, Meta is sending an important message to VR developers. The company is willing to invest in the VR ecosystem for the long term, and it may be worthwhile for studios to develop VR content beyond app sales. After all, they themselves could be acquired for large sums one day.
Meta’s aggressive expansion: both a blessing and a curse?
Outstanding VR studios are limited in number. By buying up droves of teams, Meta puts pressure on competitors who may not even begin to catch up with Meta. In this way, Meta could hurt rather than help the VR games market in the long run, regulators fear.
In July 2022, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Meta, seeking to prevent the acquisition of Supernatural studio Within. The agency believes the acquisition would significantly limit the market for VR fitness apps.
Meta wants to buy its supremacy in the market instead of earning it through performance, said Deputy Director of the Office of Competition John Newman. Meta has paused the acquisition until Jan. 1, 2023 – or until a court ruling is made.
Oculus Studios: list of all acquisitions
Below is a chronological list of all studio acquisitions to date. The acquisition amounts are unknown, with the exception of Within, for which Meta paid $400 million, according to court documents.
The list will be updated if more acquisitions are added.
Known for: Beat Saber
The acquisition was announced in November 2019.
Known for: Marvel Powers United VR, Asgard’s Wrath
Acquired in January 2020, announced in February 2020.
Known for: The Order: 1886, Lone Echo (II), Echo VR
Acquired in May 2020, announced in June 2020.
Known for: Onward
Acquired and announced in April 2020.
Known for: Population: One
Acquired in May 2021, announced in June 2021.
Known for: Supernatural
Acquired in October 2021, announced in October 2021,
Twisted Pixel Games
Known for: Wilson’s Heart, Defector, Path of the Warrior
Acquired in November 2021, announced in October 2022.
Known for: Resident Evil 4 (port for Meta Quest 2)
Announced in October 2022.
Known for: Republique VR, Iron Man VR
Announced in October 2022.