Google just acquired one of the most successful VR game studios

Google announced today that it’s acquiring Owlchemy Labs, the VR-focused studio that created Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. Owlchemy will keep releasing VR games for multiple platforms, but with backing from Google — similar to Tilt Brush studio Skillman & Hackett, which Google acquired in 2015. “We have a slate of original games that we have in [the] production and prototyping phase, and we’re going to continue to do that,” says Owlchemy co-founder Alex Schwartz. “We’re very excited to continue to do that with the support of Google behind us.”

Owlchemy is known for developing games that closely mimic using real hands, and a blog post assures readers that it’s “continuing to focus on hand interactions and high quality user experiences, like with Job Simulator.” Schwartz says that full-motion hand tracking is “kind of our key factor.” That stands in contrast to Google’s current VR platform, Daydream — which uses a remote with limited motion controls. “We have a pretty big vision” for virtual and augmented reality, says Google VR and AR engineering director Relja Markovic. “Daydream’s a great product — I love my Daydream. But there will be many, many things that come after that.”

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