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Beat Saber studio joins Facebook, but will not give in to the dark side

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Beat Saber quickly became one of the most popular virtual reality games of all time when it was released in its early access state, thanks mainly to its combination of two things nearly everyone loves: Dancing and swinging lightsabers. Now, its developer, Beat Games, is being bought by Facebook, but the studio is not planning to become another gear in the social media giant’s machine.

In an announcement posted November 26, Oculus Studios — owned by Facebook — posted that Beat Games was joining Oculus, but would continue to operate independently out of its office in Prague.

Beat Games’ planned content doesn’t appear to be affected by the acquisition, with Oculus Studios saying its 360-degree levels and additional music will still arrive by the end of the year. Modding will still be supported as well, and updates will still arrive on non-Oculus platforms such as PlayStation VR and HTC Vive.

It’s likely that Facebook and Oculus Studios will be acquiring additional developers as well, though Facebook isn’t yet revealing too much about its plans for 2020 and beyond.

Beat Saber Release Trailer

“We’re exploring many ways to accelerate VR, and we think next year is going to be an incredible one of VR game launches and announcements,” Mike Verdu, Oculus Studios director of content, said in the announcement. “We are thrilled to have Beat Games join our team. This is just the beginning.”

Beat Saber‘s gameplay is quite simple in theory, which made it perfect for VR players across a wide range of devices. As blocks move toward you, you must hit them with your colored blades based on the directional arrows shown. If sword-fighting were an interpretive dance, it would probably look like a round or two of Beat Saber.

In addition to the basically lightsabers we see in Beat Saber, Oculus and ILMxLAB partnered together on Vader Immortal, a three-part Star Wars VR series playable on both Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift. In the series, you battle against Darth Vader and his minions, ultimately reaching his stronghold on the fiery planet Mustafar. It’s the perfect thing to play in the weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theaters, especially if you’ve already beaten Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on consoles or PC.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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