Facebook Oculus Acquires BigBox VR


BigBox VR, maker of the virtual reality game “Population: One,” has been acquired by Oculus owner Facebook for an undisclosed amount, according to announcements by both companies.

By teaming up with Facebook, BigBox VR can advance its social gaming experience as well as “pursue future projects” according to the company’s press release, which thanked its Population: One community, “for making us the most social first-person shooter in VR.” 

Seattle-based studio BigBox VR said that the acquisition by Facebook will not change the operations and Population: One will still be present on Discord, Reddit, and other social platform channels. The game is now among BigBox VR’s most popular titles.

Oculus said in a blog post that the multiplayer experience in gaming was elevated with VR and with the tie-up with BogBox VR will help developers that “foster social connections.” 

Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, and its acquisition of BigBox will fold into the Oculus family and work and help support and expand Population: One. 

“BigBox VR may be small, but they are a mighty, nimble team of game industry vets who seamlessly nail the game development duality of craft and data-driven live service,” Facebook said on the Oculus blog.

In a commitment to maintaining the developer’s “nimble, iterative, creative culture,” Population: One will also continue to be supported on non-Oculus platforms.

When Facebook first acquired Oculus, there was chatter that the virtual reality movement was in full force, but augmented reality (AR) probably helped it take off. A year after the release of Pokémon Go, Apple released its first AR-based software development suite ARKit.

Smart glasses — augmented reality glasses — are still some years away, Facebook said last year.

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