Oculus announced it is downing shutters on its Story Studio division, the same unit within the company that produced the Emmy award winning short VR film Henry.
The VP of Content at Oculus, Jason Rubin further stated they would be diverting its resources into developing more VR content from sources external to the company. A budget of $50 million has been earmarked to promote the development of what the company described as non-gaming ‘experiential’ VR.
Instead, their focus would be more on dealing with issues that makes AR and VR hardware and software more efficient and reliable. Rubin, however, didn’t specify if they have tied up with anyone outside the company to make more VR stuff. Oculus though will help them out by providing networking resources, tutorials or sharing development best practices.
Story Studio was earlier set up with the sole aim of populating the VR content ecosystem with enough VR films and so on. The development team comprised of 50 staff and the guys also came up with some impressive award winning titles. Apart from the short film Henry already mentioned above, there also is the Dear Angelica, Lost that the studio produced during the two years that it has been in operations.
Nothing definitive is known as yet about the 50 jobs that would be lost though they are being encouraged to apply for posts elsewhere within Oculus and Facebook. Oculus also stated they would be holding on to the VR illustration tool Quill that has been an in-house development at Story Studio.
Quill has been the tool that the Story Studio team used to create Dear Angelica. However, there also is talk within Story Studio that Quill might be open sourced even though it won’t be supported any further.
Dear Angelica also happens to be the most ambitious project undertaken by Story Studio, with all the animation done in-house. All the three films will, however, continue to be listed in the Oculus Store.