Saturday, July 24, 2021
VR&AR

Facebook Bought Its 5th VR Studio, POPULATION: ONE Developer BigBox VR



Facebook today announced its fifth VR studio acquisition. This time it’s BigBox VR, the studio behind the popular VR battle royale POPULATION: ONE which launched just last year on PC VR and Quest, and has consistently ranked among Quest’s most popular titles.

Facebook announced the acquisition today on the Oculus blog, saying that Population: One has “consistently ranked as one the top-performing titles on the Oculus platform.” Indeed, we’ve seen the game rank among the most popular titles by ratings in our regular check on Quest app rankings.

As with prior studio acquisitions, Facebook positions the move as an effort to accelerate the studio’s work while aiming to leave its culture in tact.

“We’re excited to help BigBox VR grow and accelerate their vision for POPULATION: ONE as a state-of-the-art VR social gaming experience, as well as pursue future projects, with access to the resources and support of Facebook and Oculus Studios,” the company writes. “All while maintaining the team’s creativity, disciplined methodology, and commitment to community. Welcome to the family!”

Population: One is not only available on Quest however, it’s also on PC VR platforms and offers cross-play between them. Which of course makes players wonder whether or not the game will continue to be supported on non-Oculus platforms. Similar to its other VR studio acquisitions, Facebook is promising that Population: One will continue to see equal support no matter which platform it’s on.

While BigBox VR is now best known for Population: One, the studio was an early mover in VR, having launched the multiplayer VR shooter Smashbox Arena back in 2016.

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Today’s acquisition marks the fifth VR studio that Facebook has bought, seemingly in an effort to have greater control over the destiny of killer VR apps and the talent behind them. Facebook has also acquired Beat Games (Beat Saber), Sanzaru Games (Asgard’s Wrath and others), Ready at Dawn (Lone Echo and others), Downpour Interactive (Onward), and now BigBox VR, all within nearly a year and a half.

The major theme in all of these acquisitions is, of course, multiplayer. Naturally, the social media giant sees social VR as a key pillar of its VR efforts.

“We continue to invest in content that fosters social connection, and we believe POP: ONE delivers this experience to the VR community in spades within a super fun gaming experience,” the company said about today’s acquisition.



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