Facebook has acquired virtual reality (VR) firm BigBox VR, the company behind the multiplayer VR game POPULATION: ONE, for an undisclosed amount. The entire team of BigBox VR is expected to join Oculus Studios, a Facebook subsidiary. The social media giant was drawn to buy BigBox due to the popularity of the game.
POPULATION: ONE has earned more than $10 million on the Oculus Store within a few months of its release. The game was launched in October 2020.
"POP: ONE stormed onto the VR scene just nine months ago and has consistently ranked as one the top-performing titles on the Oculus platform, bringing together up to 24 people at a time to connect, play, and compete in a virtual world," Mike Verdu, the VP of content at Facebook Reality Labs, said in a blog post.
"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," added Verdu. In 2018, BigBox VR had raised $5 million in a seed round led by Shasta Ventures to support the development of POPULATION: ONE.
"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," Verdu noted. "As part of the Oculus Studios family, BigBox VR will have the opportunity to grow POP: ONE and cultivate its community with the full support of Oculus Studios resources, and, in the future, pursue other projects," He added.
Verdu further explained that Facebook is exploring ways to accelerate involvement in VR, including investments in third-party content, AAA IP, hardware, and more. The social media company has innovative plans for the next few years of gaming, stated Verdu.
BigBoxVR is the fifth major VR studio Facebook has acquired in the past two years. In 2019, it had bought Beat Games, and since then it has acquired Sanzaru Games, Ready at Dawn, and Downpour Interactive.
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