After two years of making award-winning virtual reality short films, Jason Rubin, Oculus' VP of content announced that the company is shutting down its film division Oculus Story Studio.
In a blog post entitled 'The Next Chapter of Creative Development in VR', Rubin said that the company has "decided to shift [its] focus away from internal content creation to support more external production". He also said that Oculus will focus its efforts on helping third-party filmmakers instead, dedicating $50 million of the $250 million promised to developers specifically for non-gaming VR experiences.
This seems like quite a drastic about-face for Oculus after it had poached talent from both the video gaming world as well as acclaimed digital animation company Pixar. Since launching at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015 the company produced various short films such as Lost and the Emmy-winning Henry. The studio created Quill – a tool for drawing directly within VR – for another film called Dear Angelica.
While Oculus has shut down the studio, the company has reportedly been encouraging its employees to apply for other positions within the company. Rubin also promised that the company will continue to provide resources and programs for creators as well as funding third-party projects.