Oculus is ‘winding down’ Story Studio, its film development division

oculus story studio shutdown henryoculus2
Oculus
Oculus VR looks set to end its in-house short film development division, called Story Studio. Despite the fact that it has produced Emmy-winning shorts like Henry, the firm believes VR content creation is going in a new direction — and it plans to fund the stuff, not create it.

There has certainly been debate on Oculus’ content strategies over the past year, but there’s no denying its first-party releases helped show what’s possible in the fledgling VR market. Alongside some of its in-house game developments like Luckey’s Tale, Oculus released short films like Henry, Lost and more recently, Dear Angelica. Now it wants to pass the mantle to third parties.

“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,” Oculus said in a statement.

That change involves not only funding others who can carry the torch of VR short filmmaking but also shutting down the Story Studio. Oculus has been funding other developers for years at this point and has helped bring a lot of content to market. That’s something it wants to continue, while also refocusing its efforts on solving the problems still associated with virtual and augmented reality.

Moving forward, it has pledged $50 million for non-gaming, experimental VR content — everything from short films to full features and educational VR experiences.

Oculus will continue to keep stories like Henry, Lost, and Dear Angelica on the Oculus store so people can enjoy them far into the future. It also has a number of technique tutorials related to their creation to help those looking to build their own enticing virtual reality experiences.

Fortunately, as Oculus suggested, many other firms are now building VR film experiences, like the upcoming Wesley Snipes vehicle The Recall VR Abduction.

Gaming

‘Diablo III’ is bringing loot-filled goodness to the Nintendo Switch this year

Blizzard's acclaimed action-RPG Diablo III will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year and it will include four-player cooperative play on the console, the legendary game studio announced.
Movies & TV

Was there a 'Captain Marvel' Easter Egg In 'Avengers: Infinity War'?

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Movies & TV

Star Trek 4 in trouble as Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth take their Kirks and go home

Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have both reportedly left talks to star in Star Trek 4 due to contract disputes with studio Paramount Pictures, leaving the status of the fourth film uncertain.
Movies & TV

‘The Meg’ devours the weekend box office to knock off ‘Mission: Impossible’

Giant shark movie The Meg surprised just about everyone with a massive opening weekend that gave studio Warner Bros. Pictures its biggest premiere of the year so far. It knocked Mission: Impossible -- Fallout down to second place.
Virtual Reality

YouTube VR gets bolder with the Gear headset and communal experiences

Exploring the world through YouTube VR just got a little bit easier, or at least, a little more inclusive. On Wednesday, July 25, the video platform announced that its VR experience is coming to Samsung Gear VR.
Computing

Reality shines into your ‘Minecraft’ escape via Windows Mixed Reality Flashlight

What’s great about VR is that you can get the full building experience in Minecraft. The drawback is that you don’t have visual access to the real world without lifting or removing the headset. Microsoft has a fix for Windows.
Virtual Reality

HTC says ‘it takes time to launch a new technology,’ claims lead in VR revenue

HTC posted a response to a Digital Trends editorial charting VR headset sales on Amazon. The company said "it takes time to launch a new technology," and posted data showing it makes the most revenue among its peers.
Photography

Adobe’s next big software secret? An augmented reality tool called Project Aero

Itching to create an augmented reality object? Adobe will soon have software to help. Adobe recently teased Project Aero, an upcoming software that helps design AR objects, including support for Apple's ARKit.
Virtual Reality

Daydream VR users can browse with Google Chrome in virtual space

Tired of browsing the internet in boring regular reality? If you're a Daydream VR user, you no longer have to, as Google has just announced the ability to use Chrome from within your Daydream VR headset.
Computing

Magic Leap’s augmented reality interface floats wherever you want it

New screenshots of a potential user interface for the Magic Leap augmented reality headset give us a firmer grasp of what the AR world inside the goggles might actually look like during day-to-day use.
Mobile

Google Home too boring? You want Gatebox’s cute virtual character in your life

Want to share your life with a virtual character? Then your dream is closer to reality thanks to Gatebox. It will control your smart home, and the character that lives inside the Gatebox can recognize and interact with you.
Deals

The Google Daydream View, one of the best VR headsets, is now on sale for $30

If you own a compatible smartphone, the Google Daydream View is one of the best vVR headsets money can buy. If you've been looking to dip your toes into the world of VR, Verizon has slashed the price of the headset down to just $30.
Emerging Tech

IrisVision uses VR to help people with fading eyesight to see again

A smartphone-based VR system can now help people with severe macular degeneration see better. While it doesn’t cure blindness, it does enable users with this vision disorder to carry out tasks they would otherwise find impossible.
Mobile

Facebook Messenger now includes AR games you can play with your friends

If sending messages wasn't already enough with Facebook Messenger, users can now challenge friends to augmented reality games. With the new feature, you can play with up to six people at a time from anywhere in the world.