Facebook’s VR storytelling unit Oculus Story Studio is shutting its doors to shift focus on supporting external content makers. According to the company’s vice president of content, Jason Rubin, Oculus will allocate $50 Million to directly fund the makers of non-gaming VR content.
Rubin further added that Oculus, which creates virtual reality headsets Gear VR and Rift, is still extremely dedicated to grow the VR film and creative content ecosystem. Earlier this year, it had been reported that Facebook will invest more than $3 billion in VR over the next decade. The company paid $3 Billion to acquire Oculus and retain its staff. As per recent reports, Facebook shutters Oculus Story Studio to emphasize its efforts on supporting third-party content developers.
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said he believed that 360-degree photos and panoramic view using headsets will become a part of daily life for billions of people. The virtual reality storytelling unit of the social media giant tapped flair from both the video gaming world and Oscar-winning animation company Pixar to head up Story Studio. Rubin wrote in a blog post,
“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production. As part of that shift, we’ll be winding down Story Studio. “
The Story Studio was established in 2014 to explore creating unique cinematic content for the company. Last fall, the studio won an Emmy for its animated short Henry, a Pixar-esque story about a prickly hedgehog that loves to give hugs.
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In the midst of working on its latest project, Dear Angelical; the VR storytelling unit’s team curated a comprehensive virtual reality product baptized Quill. It lets users create content inside artificial reality. As a part of the shutdown, Quill will continue to be available for download in the Oculus Story Studio’s store, however, will no longer receive updates.
The sudden move of closing FB’s VR storytelling unit came in the midst of producing its fourth major project, namely The Wolves in the Walls. This project has now been canceled, the company confirmed.
As a part of the shutdown of Facebook’s VR storytelling unit, about 50 people will be pushed out of job. However, a spokesperson of Oculus told that the same employees will also be able to apply for other positions elsewhere within Facebook or Oculus.