Facebook Acquires 'Beat Saber' Game Studio

Beat Saber Key Art - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Beat Games

The company, based in the Czech Republic, will report to Mike Verdu, the tech giant's director of AR/VR content, as part of the Oculus Studios team.

Facebook has expanded its gaming portfolio with the acquisition of Beat Games, best known for developing the 2018 VR rhythm game Beat Saber. The Czech Republic-based studio joins Oculus Studios, the VR game company acquired by Facebook in 2014 for more than $2 billion, and will remain headquartered in Prague.

Facebook declined The Hollywood Reporter's request for financial details pertaining to the acquisition. 

"Beat Games is a strong team with proven potential across VR, games, and music," Mike Verdu, director of AR/VR content at Facebook, said Tuesday in a blog post announcing the news. "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."

Beat Saber debuted in May 2018 and has gone on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide. The Beat Games team consists of less than 10 employees and will report to Verdu as part of the Oculus Studios team. 

Facebook's interest in the VR space comes at a time when Microsoft's head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, told Stevivor earlier on Tuesday that his company will not focus on the industry with its upcoming console offering, Project Scarlett, due out next holiday season. 

“I have some issues with VR — it’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience ... that’s not where our focus is," he said.

Verdu, meanwhile, sees VR as a viable future in gaming. "We’re exploring many ways to accelerate VR, and we think next year is going to be an incredible one of VR game launches and announcements," he said. Responding to a question about acquiring more studios in the future, Verdu said, "We are thrilled to have Beat Games join our team. This is just the beginning."

This year has been a big one for tech giants moving into gaming, as Google launched its Stadia streaming service last week and Apple debuted its Apple Arcade subscription platform in September.