Google Acquires VR Studio Owlchemy Labs

Most VR fans know Owlchemy Labs for its two games, Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. The studio currently employs 23 employees, but it will soon have even more people in its ranks. The company was acquired today by Google.

Google is no stranger to virtual reality, having launched its Cardboard and Daydream platforms during the past couple of years. The company also created the Tilt Brush experience for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. However, Google set its eyes on Owlchemy Labs not just because of its experience in VR development, but also its expertise in hand-based interactions. Both of Owlchemy’s VR titles focus heavily on using your hands to interact with a plethora of objects in the virtual space. As a part of Google, Owlchemy will have more resources at its disposal to create even better VR games.

“Owlchemy Labs makes things that are absurd, highly polished, and filled to the brim with terrible puns & jokes that we love making. We both believe that VR is the most accessible computing platform and that there’s a ton of work to be done, especially with regards to natural and intuitive interactions. Together with Google, with which we share an incredible overlap in vision, we’re free to pursue raw creation and sprint toward interesting problems in these early days of VR.”

Google didn’t provide specifics about how much it paid to buy Owlchemy Labs, and with the virtual reality industry showing no signs of slowing down, we hope to see the effect of the company’s latest acquisition some time in the near future. You can read Owlchemy's announcement of the acquisition on its blog.

  • bit_user
    Owlchemy Labs makes things that are absurd ... and filled to the brim with terrible puns & jokes
    That's pretty much a deal-breaker, for me.
  • Fiqar_
    Madness! Does anyone ever fear that all these big companies will take over VR and not leave room for the little guys? I mean what is a loq-income customer to do? I hope they have some indie companies like makerbot that try to break in the market and make for themselves to cater to the little guy. Finger crossed!
  • bit_user
    19677141 said:
    Madness! Does anyone ever fear that all these big companies will take over VR and not leave room for the little guys?
    Well, Facebook/Oculus just went the opposite direction and closed their in-house studio, in favor of putting more resources into indie developers and the general ecosystem.

    *If* Google bought them to make any kind of content (i.e. not just for the gesture technology), then the idea is probably to take a page out of the playbook of console manufacturers (with Nintendo being the prime example). So, they might provide a few top-notch first party titles, in order to show off the platform and get people interested.

    But I really think they want to be in the platform business rather than the content business. So, the vast majority of titles will be made others and they'll just take a cut of everything sold through the Play store, as well as harvesting usage data from all the users.