Technology

Google Acquires Popular VR Game Studio Owlchemy

Google has acquired Owlchemy Labs, a VR major that created Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. In a blog post, Austin-based Owlchemy confirmed that it had been acquired by the search giant.

“Today is a REAAAALLY BIG day for Owlchemy. We’re positively thrilled to announce that Owlchemy Labs has been acquired by Google!” the VR firm said.

Google VR owlchemy
tmeier1964 / Pixabay

Owlchemy will continue its VR projects

Owlchemy Labs, founded in 2010, has already raised $5 million via seed funding from Capital Factory, Qualcomm Ventures, Colopl VR Fund, HTC and The Venture Reality Fund, notes TechCrunch. Even after the acquisition, the company will continue to do what it does best — releasing VR games for multiple platforms — but with backing from Google.

“We’re very excited to continue to do that with the support of Google behind us,” the company said, adding that it has a host of original games in the pipeline and in the prototype phase which will continue as they are.

Initially, Owlchemy was not a VR studio, and around 2011, the company was best known for releasing the controversial satirical game Smuggle Truck, followed by the fluffy animal themed update Snuggle Truck. However, the company was among the first studio to work with the initial Oculus Rift development kit in 2013, notes The Verge, and its Job Simulator was a launch title for the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Touch motion controllers. The game served as an exciting demo of what virtual reality games would be in the future. No doubt it passed $3 million in sales in the beginning of this year.

How Google plans to use its new acquisition

Google is also equally excited about the acquisition, saying that Owlchemy’s team has created award-winning games that are not only interactive but also thoughtful, intuitive and set in a natural environment.

“They’ve helped set a high bar for what engagement can be like in virtual worlds, and do it all with a great sense of humor!” the search giant said.

Owlchemy focuses on full-motion hand tracking, but Google’s Daydream VR platform does not support the technology yet. According to The Verge, this acquisition will clear the way for Google’s investment into next-generation VR, a newer version of Daydream or even an entirely new platform in the future.

With Owlchemy, Google is hoping to create immersive games and bring new interaction models across various platforms.

“There is so much more to build and learn, so stay tuned!” it said.

The virtual reality industry is thriving and shows no sign of slowing down, indicating that Google is hoping for significant success in the near future with the acquisition of Owlchemy.

Both companies have in-depth knowledge in the VR space. Google and Owlchemy have done things like creating interesting and distinctive experiences. It must be noted that Google’s top video game maker recently left, so with Owlchemy’s acquisition, the company is looking to get things back on track.

Google will hold its I/O developer conference next week. Though there are few details about the event, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we hear something about VR. The financial details of the deal have not been made public.