On a blog post today, Google announced that it is acquiring Owlchemy. Owlchemy is one of the most successful VR game studios in the world today.
Owlchemy will continue to provide VR games for multiple platforms, but with Google being the face behind its mask.
This is not the first time Google will be acquiring a VR studio. In 2015, the search engine giant acquired and added a number of VR studios to its empire. They include: Tilt Brush studio, Skillman & Hackett.
Owlchemy is known for developing games that closely mimic using real hands and they have promised to continue to focus on hand interactions and high-quality user experiences, like with Job Simulator.”
According to Schwartz, Owlchemy co-founder who said in a blog post that full-motion hand tracking is “kind of our key factor.” This stands in contrast to Google’s current VR platform, Daydream — which uses a remote with limited motion controls.
Google will probably say more about virtual reality at its I/O developer conference next week,
But the acquisition suggests that at the very least, Google is still working on its push to develop more VR content and that in contrast to Facebook-owned company Oculus — which recently closed its VR film studio in order to fund external projects.
A little about Owlchemy before now. The game studio started in 2011 but it didn’t start as a VR studio. It released the controversial satirical game Smuggle Truck, followed by the fluffy-animal-themed update Snuggle Truck.
In 2013, it became the first to work with the initial Oculus Rift development kit and Job Simulator was a launch title for the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Touch motion controllers.
As at 2017 Job Simulator has passed $3 million in sales. This makes it one of the VR studios to be mentioned whenever we are talking about the success stories about VR gaming.