Meta is adding three new virtual reality game developers to its growing Oculus Studios division, the in-house creative team responsible for courting developers to build new software for VR devices. The acquisitions were announced as part of the company's keynote during the Meta Connect conference.
Joining Meta's internal development roster is Iron Man VR developer Camouflaj, Wilson's Heart developer Twisted Pixel, and Armature Studio, the team behind the successful port of Capcom's Resident Evil 4 for the Meta Quest 2. (According to UploadVR, an FTC complaint earlier this year disclosed the Twisted Pixel acquisition, but Meta had not formally announced it until Tuesday.)
While Meta spent the early years after acquiring Oculus paying outside developers to develop games for its headsets, the company has over the last few years begun acquiring more of these studios and giving the teams resources to build new games. The spending spree started in 2019 when Meta acquired Beat Saber developer Beat Games.
Meta followed up that acquisition with Asgard’s Wrath developer Sanzaru Games in 2020, Lone Echo developer Ready at Dawn that same year, Onward developer Downpour Interactive in 2021, Population: One developer BigBox VR in 2021, and Supernatural developer Within Unlimited last fall. The aggressive acquisition strategy over the course of just two years led critics to question whether Meta was having an anticompetitive effect on the VR software market given that it also enjoys a roughly 90% market share of the VR headset market.
In July, the FTC sued Meta to stop its acquisition of Within, alleging the deal would limit competition and give Meta a monopoly on VR fitness apps. (Supernatural is marketed as a gamified VR fitness app, while many fans of Beat Saber also use the game as a cardio exercise.) The FTC last week slimmed down its complaint by removing some of its allegations, but the case is ongoing.
In addition to its new studio acquisitions, Meta also announced that Camouflaj's Iron Man VR, which was originally released for Sony's competing VR platform in 2020, would be arriving on the Quest 2 on Nov. 3. Popular indie game Among Us is also getting a VR variant releasing on the Quest 2 on Nov. 10. According to Meta, consumers have spent more than $1.5 billion on the Quest store to date.