The social media giant was drawn to BigBox because of the popularityand of POP: ONE, which has been one of the best performing titles on the Oculus platform since it launched last year and accumulated $ 10 million in revenue In a few months. Facebook and its VR-focused subsidiary Oculus plan to help BigBox accelerate its vision for the game and other projects as well.
“We continue to invest in content that encourages social connection and we believe POP: ONE brings this experience to the virtual reality community in abundance within a super fun gaming experience. ”Mike Verdu, Vice President of Content for Facebook Reality Labs, wrote in a blog post.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This is Facebook’s first acquisition of a Seattle startup and represents another virtual reality studio launched by Facebook. Others include Downpour Interactive, Ready at Dawn, Sanzaru Games, and Beat Games.
Very excited to create the future of VR + social + games! https://t.co/xNx1UwFYEw
– Chia Chin Lee (@chiachinlee) June 11, 2021
Founded in 2016, BigBox is run by co-founders Chia chin lee, a video game industry veteran who led teams at Sony and Disney, and Gabe brown, who met Chin Lee while the two were building a popular Facebook game – Marvel’s Avengers Alliance – at the Disney game studio in the Seattle area.
POP: ONE borrows mechanics from popular Battle Royale games, such as Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which have been immensely popular with PC and console gamers for the past few years. It is unique in that the game is designed for virtual reality, allowing players to climb, fly and shoot as if they were doing it in real life.
BigBox previously had a partnership with Oculus Studios. It plans to continue to support non-Oculus platforms, including SteamVR headsets like the HTC Vive and Valve Index, and POP: ONE will receive regular updates. according to a blog post.
“We are completely focused on POPULATION: ONE! We have a lot planned, but we are not yet ready to share details, ”the blog post reads.
BigBox has about 30 employees, according to LinkedIn. The entire team will join Oculus Studios, including the founders.
“BigBox VR may be small, but they are a powerful and agile team of gaming industry veterans who seamlessly achieve the duality of game development between crafting and data-driven live service,” Verdu wrote in his publication.
The company raised an investment round, raising $ 5 million three years ago in an initial round led by Bay Area venture capital firm Shasta Ventures that included participation from GSR Ventures and PSL Ventures.
The first BigBox title was Smashbox Arena, a team-based action virtual reality game once described as a “Counter-Strike meets Mario Kart” experience. It served as a kind of test to see how online multiplayer would work in virtual reality.
Virtual and augmented reality is yet to go mainstream, as some large tech companies like Facebook and Apple, as predicted, continue to invest in the technology, and investors keep making bets.