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FACEBOOK BUYS VIRTUAL REALITY GAME ‘BEAT SABER’ AND THE MAKER

In this file photo taken on October 23, 2019 Facebook employee Elza Uzmanoff tries out an Oculus device at the company’s corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Facebook-owned Oculus on November 26, 2019, said it is buying the studio behind hit virtual reality game “Beat Saber” as it looks to expand VR technology to wider audiences. PHOTO: Josh Edelson / AFP

Oculus, which makes Rift and Quest VR headgear, did not disclose financial terms of the deal to acquire Prague-based Beat Games.

“Beat Games is joining us in our quest to bring VR to more people around the world,” Oculus director of augmented and virtual reality content Mike Verdu said in a blog post.

“Beat Games’ accomplishments are already impressive, but Facebook and the Beat Games team know that there is so much more that can be done across VR, games, and music.”

Verdu assured players that the studio would continue to ship content and updates for “Beat Saber” on platforms where it is already available.

In the virtual game, players use light sabers to slash oncoming, large cubes to the beat of music, sometimes twisting or ducking to avoid oncoming walls.

“VR reimagines old genres and invents new ones,” Verdu said.

Oculus is exploring ways, including acquisitions, to accelerate the adoption of virtual reality technology, which Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has heralded as the next major computing platform.

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“With the resources and know-how that we can offer, Beat Games will be able to accelerate, adding more music and more exciting features to ‘Beat Saber’ as well as bringing the game to more people,” Verdu said.

Facebook is planning a virtual social community where users of its Oculus headgear can “explore new places” via its Horizon virtual world, which is set for a beta launch in 2020.

Oculus users will be able to choose an avatar and interact with others in the virtual community, Facebook said earlier this year.

Horizon will replace earlier versions of the social VR community Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms.

Oculus remains a small part of Facebook, whose core social network and other platforms reach more than two billion people worldwide.

Analysts expect sales of 1.3 million units in 2019 of the Oculu

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