The Oculus lords at Facebook have bought Beat Games, the makers of VR breakout hit Beat Saber. That’s the rhythm game where you gogg up to slash through blocks representing beats of a song – Guitar Hero meets Star Trek in cyberspace. Y’know, one of the games that people recommend a lot as a getaway to VR. That one. It’s Facebook’s. Beat Games say they’ll continue to update and support Beat Saber on all its current cybergoggles, not just Oculus sets, though it’s less clear what the acquisition might mean for any future games – or for Beat Saber mods.
“They will join Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio in Prague, continuing to create new ways for people to experience music and VR gaming,” Oculus said in yesterday’s announcement.
“Most importantly, what the community has come to love about Beat Saber will remain intact. Beat Games will continue to ship content and updates for Beat Saber across all currently supported platforms, now with even more support from Facebook.”
Beat Games added on Twitter that joining the club will let them “add super cool stuff (features and music) to all our supported platforms much faster!” They added that they plan to be “releasing new updates and Music Packs at the same time everywhere!”
The multiplatform chat avoids saying anything about potential future games. Another open question is what happens to mods. Given the sort of game Beat Saber is, mods adding new songs and levels are quite popular. Oculus said:
“We understand and appreciate the value that modding brings to Beat Saber when done so legally and within our policies. We’re going to do our best to preserve the value that mods bring to the Beat Saber player base. As a reminder, our most recent policy updates give more clarity to how developer mode is intended to be used, such as helping developers build their apps or for enthusiasts to explore new concepts. It is not intended for engaging in piracy or illicit modding, including mods that infringe on third-party IP rights or contain malicious code.”
So they’re paying lip service to mods while threatening to continue pursuing the most popular type. Oculus rules have already impacted Beat Saber mods, with the popular BeatOne tool for Oculus Quest shutting down after recent policy changes. A new mod stepped up to take its place but still, mods have been in trouble since before Oculus even owned Beat Games.