Facebook Expands Its VR Ambitions With Acquisition of the Studio Behind Beat Saber

Facebook Expands Its VR Ambitions With Acquisition of the Studio Behind Beat Saber

Beat Saber will keep being updated on other platforms.

For lots of VR enthusiasts out there, Beat Saber's the title that got them hooked, keeps them playing, and serves as the "you've got to check this out" game when they have friends over. Today, Facebook has announced that it's acquiring Beat Games, the Prague-based studio behind the hacking-and-slashing success. Beat Games is joining Oculus Studios, but Facebook says the developers will keep updating and supporting Beat Saber on various platforms.

Beat Saber's simple concept—a rhythm game where you hack and slash boxes to the beat—helped propel it past one million sales across PSVR, Steam, and Oculus Home earlier this year. When Facebook launched the Oculus Quest in May, Beat Saber was one of the first titles available for the standalone VR headset. In his review of the Quest for USG, Mike Williams noted that playing Beat Saber without cables was one of the system's highlights.

In a new statement, Oculus director of content Mike Verdu says that Beat Games will still function "as an independently operated studio" as part of Oculus Studios. Verdu also assures Beat Saber fans that this won't be a case where an independent developer gets bought by a larger company and suffers for it:

I've been in the industry for a while and have seen that firsthand. However, I've also seen and been a part of some incredible success stories. The story we aim to prove over time is this: An indie studio joins forces with some like-minded allies, and together they find a way to push VR to new heights.

Time will tell how Beat Games fares under Facebook, but Beat Saber will surely still remain a major attractor for VR newcomers for quite a while. While games like the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx require players to invest in a wired headset and a gaming PC, Beat Saber can run on a Quest (now a gateway to tethered VR), works as a fitness routine, and is one of the rare VR games you can have fun watching other people play. It works really well right now, across a range of hardware, making its creators about as attractive an acquistion as you can get.

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Mathew Olson

Reporter

Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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