Cannes 2

Facebook's Oculus shutters its award-winning VR film studio

Tyrone Stewart
Henry (Oculus Story Studio)
Oculus' Emmy award-winning VR short Henry

Oculus, Facebook’s VR company, has decided to shut down its Emmy Award-winning film division, Story Studio, just two years after opening it.

Story Studio gave birth to three original VR shorts, including Lost, Henry, and Dear Angelica, and was in the middle of producing more. However, it has decided to halt production on all ongoing projects, despite the success of the studio – with its Henry short picking up the Emmy for Outstanding Original Interactive Program last year.

Oculus intends to shift its focus to funding the external creation of VR, rather than developing its own VR films and content, and says it will pledge $50m to fund ‘non-gaming, experiential VR content’.

“We’re still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem,” said Jason Rubin, VP of content at Oculus, in a blog post. “Last year, we committed an additional $250M to fund VR content from developers all over the world.

“We’re going to carve out $50M from that financial commitment to exclusively fund non-gaming, experiential VR content. This money will go directly to artists to help jumpstart the most innovative and groundbreaking VR ideas.”

In addition to funding the creation of content, Oculus says it will continue to provide resources and programs to help creators – ‘including video tutorials, production and distribution tips, bests practices for VR development, and chances to connect with leaders in the community’.