Oculus Story Studio is a part of Oculus Virtual Reality (VR). It’s the same studio that launched the company’s VR to be the first to explore animated VR filmmaking. The studio received several accolades and made successful VR films. These would include “Dear Angelica” and “Henry.”
But with the recent statement Jason Rubin, the said studio will shut down. Those employees who will be affected by this decision can apply for new positions within the Oculus department. However, all projects that are in progress are dropped.
In a blog post, Jason Rubin wrote:
“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. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production.”
Unveiling of Story Studio
Oculus introduced it in 2015. Its first film was “Lost.” Then, a year after, it launched Henry, which is another VR short movie. It involves the story about a cute hedgehog. It even got an Emmy for its Outstanding Original Interactive Program.
Another project that the studio has introduced was “Dear Angelica.” It’s a film that’s been animated fully within Virtual Reality. It featured the voice of Geena Davis as one of the movie’s main characters.
Even though it’ll close down, those three films mentioned will still be available through its Oculus Store.
The team has created Quill, an authoring tool, that enables animators or creators to draw scenes in 3D while they wear Oculus headset. The said device is available without any charge on its Oculus Store. However, with the closing down of the Studio, it’ll cease providing continued support for Quill.
It may be considered as bad news, especially for animators. The Studio has been helping them in exploring new ways to make a film in VR.
In recent months, the team announced its plans in venturing in 3D comics. In fact, it introduced a set of VR comics during the Tribeca Film Festival.
The company announced at that time that those 3D comics would be available in its Store later this year. But it’s not certain now considering the report of the Studio’s being shut down.
The “Wolves in the Walls” might also be removed. It’s a cinematic VR project, which is slated to be ready next year.
Although the Oculus Story Studio is closing down, Facebook won’t abandon its plans on narrative storytelling using Virtual Reality. It’s still a huge part of its pledge in VR content.
“We’re going to carve out $50M from that financial commitment to exclusively fund non-gaming, experiential VR content. This money will go directly to artists to help jumpstart the most innovative and groundbreaking VR ideas.”
The shutting down of Oculus Story Studio is part of the change at the VR unit of Facebook. In early 2014, it invested $2 billion on Oculus. It also gave it a lot of freedom.
Recently, however, that has changed, and Facebook seems to have greater control over it.