Facebook is acquiring Beat Games, the developer of popular (and excellent) virtual reality rhythm game Beat Saber. TechCrunch reported that Beat Games will keep operating independently, but it will become part of Oculus Studios, Facebook’s VR gaming group. In a blog post, Oculus content director Mike Verdu said the game will keep releasing across all platforms, and the studio won’t prioritize Oculus headsets for updates or new content like music packs.
Oculus basically describes this purchase as a way to offer Beat Games — a tiny studio formerly known as Hyperbolic Magnetism — more development resources. Before its acquisition, Beat Saber had already started expanding its small original song catalog with new music packs, including songs from Imagine Dragons and Panic! At The Disco. The company is also shipping a new 360-degree game mode in December.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Great news: <a href=”https://twitter.com/BeatGamesStudio?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BeatGamesStudio</a> is joining Oculus Studios! <a href=”https://twitter.com/BeatSaber?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BeatSaber</a> is the first VR-only platinum hit + one of the best ways to show people the magic of VR. We’re excited to welcome this awesome team. Director of Content Mike Verdu shares more on the blog: <a href=”https://t.co/jKF98nkQ4h”>https://t.co/jKF98nkQ4h</a> <a href=”https://t.co/oEWS5aGJJk”>pic.twitter.com/oEWS5aGJJk</a></p>— Oculus (@oculus) <a href=”https://twitter.com/oculus/status/1199436435952193536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
It’s simple, lightweight, and easy to pick up, but hard to master. It’s also currently available across all major high-end VR platforms, including the Oculus Rift and Quest.
The game has also benefited from a thriving mod scene, much of which involved pirated music — something the developers have been trying to discourage without suppressing the community as a whole. The Oculus post includes a note about modding:
We understand and appreciate the value that modding brings to Beat Saber when done so legally and within our policies. We’re going to do our best to preserve the value that mods bring to the Beat Saber player base.
It’s something other big companies have done, though. Google, which effectively has no VR hardware branch, acquired the painting software Tilt Brush and the studio behind Job Simulator and Vacation Simulator, Owlchemy Labs.