That's right, Owlchemy Labs, the studio that doubled down on virtual reality to bring you Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality has been snapped up by Google. It's obviously good news for them, but the good news for fans is that they'll still be making games for HTC Vive, Oculus and PlayStation VR. No Google Daydream dungeon for them.
"We're absurdly happy to be working with the brilliant folks at Google and to keep making silly, awesome, crazy VR experiences," says Alex Schwartz, founder and CEO at Owlchemy Labs.
The 23 person team at Owlchemy has long been seen as pioneering in this generation of VR. Job Simulator convinced sceptics the technology could work, and the team tackled technical problems like how to share VR experiences, developing a special spectator mode and a way to see your Twitch chat in game.
"Now, as we look to the future with Google by our side, we couldn’t be happier. Our plan to build awesome things will continue forward stronger than ever," says Owlchemy in a statement. "This means Owlchemy will continue building high quality VR content for platforms like the HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, and PlayStation VR. This means continuing to focus on hand interactions and high quality user experiences, like with Job Simulator. This means continuing our mission to build VR for everyone, and doing all of this as the same silly Owlchemy Labs you know and love."
Google has already been experimenting with VR via its own Google Daydream headset, but it acquiring a games focused virtual reality team is massive news. It's a stamp of approval on virtual reality from the people that basically run the internet.
"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," says Relja Markovic, Google's engineering director for VR and AR. "Together, we'll be working to create engaging, immersive games and developing new interaction models across many different platforms to continue bringing the best VR experiences to life. There is so much more to build and learn, so stay tuned."