Trying to give consumers more reason to buy its pricy Oculus VR headsets, Facebook just bought Beat Games. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sources told Bloomberg that Facebook was ready to pay somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion for the “neural interface platform” maker.
Beat Games is best known as the studio behind “Beat Saber,” which is the closest thing the VR genre has had to a hit. In the game, players use their virtual sabers to slice through colored blocks, which approach at the same rate of accompanying musical beats.
Mike Verdu, director of content at Oculus, is betting that Beat Games can keep coming up with bigger and bigger hits.
“They have only scratched the surface with "Beat Saber" in terms of social features, new modes, music, and more,” Verdu stated.
Per the acquisition, Beat Games is joining Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio in Prague.
The studio will continue to ship content and updates for “Beat Saber” across all currently supported platforms, now with additional support from Facebook.
Despite the best efforts of Facebook and other companies, virtual reality has yet to take off among a critical mass of consumers.
But that could change in the next few years, research suggests.
By 2023, shipments of VR headsets will reach 54 million -- up from an estimated 21 million this year -- Juniper Research predicted earlier this year. That would amount to 160% growth over four years.
The research firm said it expected Sony’s PlayStation VR to drive the console-based VR market -- which it predicted would outperform all other VR markets over the next four years.
Thinking beyond standard headsets, Facebook recently agreed to buy CTRL-Labs -- a software startup that specializes in letting people control computer systems with their minds.