Oculus Studios: Every Reality Labs developer and what they're working on
Meta keeps acquiring the most popular VR studios, bolstering its first-party presence.
During Meta Connect, most VR fans focused on the announcement of the $1,500 Meta Quest Pro. So you may have missed or forgotten the news that it acquired two new VR studios, Camouflaj and Armature Studio. The developers behind the upcoming Iron Man VR game and the excellent Resident Evil 4 VR port last year, respectively, Camouflaj and Armature, are just the latest in a long line of developers absorbed by Meta Reality Labs for its gaming ambitions.
Meta Reality Labs doesn't quite have the developer capital to compete with Playstation Studios and its many first-party affiliates, but acquisitions like these will help ensure the Quest 2 and future Quest 3 have plenty of great exclusives in the future to compete with the PSVR 2.
Below, we'll list every Oculus Studios developer, what they've worked on up until now, and our best guesses on what they might work on next. And we'll also discuss non-Meta developers that have committed to work on Quest games in the future.
These are the first-party Meta Reality Labs studios working on Quest 2 exclusives
Oculus Studios has served as the publisher for a ton of games on the Quest Store, including Lies Beneath, Dance Central, and Jurassic World: Aftermath. Many of the best Quest 2 games received direct support from Meta (or Facebook). But bring the publisher simply means they supported developers in optimizing games for Quest; it doesn't mean these developers are owned by or beholden to Meta for its future releases.
Instead, we're focusing on the developers that Meta specifically acquired and folded into its own operations, so we know for a fact that they're specifically working on games for the Meta Quest 2 or Meta Quest 3.
Founded by former Retro Studio devs who worked on the Metroid Prime series, Armature Studio made a name for itself by creating ports of popular games, including Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, Bayonetta, and Metal Gear Solid HD. Its first original games, like ReCore, didn't receive great reviews. It eventually turned to VR titles like Fail Factory! and the popular Sports Scramble before creating the fantastic port of Resident Evil 4 VR for Quest, which made $2 million in its first 24 hours.
Meta says that "it'll be a while before we can reveal what...ambitious and forward-thinking games" Armature Studio is working on. But it's not a stretch to guess that it'll work on porting console games to work for virtual reality, given its specialization in this area. We made a list of classic console games we want to play on the Quest 2, and Armature could easily make most of these remakes happen if Meta can acquire the license.
Meta acquired Beat Games, the Czech team behind mega-hit Beat Saber, in 2020. Since then, the developer has seemingly leveraged Meta's influence to get more influential bands for DLC packs, including BTS, Skrillex, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, and Lizzo. The game and DLC packs remain available on PSVR and PC VR.
Originally a two-member team — Vladimír Hrinčár and Ján Ilavský — Beat Games has hired new members but remains a small, independent studio. Given Beat Saber's popularity, we have no expectations they will do anything other than release new DLC 3-4 times a year. We don't know which artist they'll work with next, but we have a wishlist of Beat Saber collaborations we'd like to see.
Acquired in May 2021, BigBox VR has just two games under its belt: Smashbox Arena and Population: One. The latter is one of the most popular multiplayer shooters on the Quest platform, already having hosted several seasons of content and most recently adding a Sandbox mode so players can create custom maps in-game. We suspect BigBox will stick to supporting this game for some time but could very well launch a third VR shooter in the future.
Camouflaj is the latest developer acquired by Reality Labs. So far, it has developed just two titles: Republique (and its VR port) and Iron Man VR, which initially launched on PSVR in 2020 and will come to Quest 2 on November 3, 2022.
As with Armature, Camouflaj is probably in the early stages of a new project and won't launch any new exclusives anytime soon. But given how great its first two games were, we expect the studio to bring a fantastic third game to the Quest 3.
As far as we know, there isn't much to say about Downpour Interactive, which Oculus Studios acquired in April 2021. A small San Francisco-based studio with around 30 employees, according to Linkedin, Downpour's first and only game, Onward, came out in 2015, moving from the Rift to the Quest.
On the studio's developer blog in mid-2022, CEO Dante Buckley explained that "a large portion of our team has been focused on rebuilding our game's core infrastructure to future-proof our development and make Onward more stable for all players" before they can move on to other Onward content in 2023. So expect the shooter to improve, but not much else to come from the studio until after the Quest 3 arrives.
Ready at Dawn
Founded in 2003 by former Blizzard and Naughty Dog developers, Ready at Dawn started with game ports of Okami and God of War before creating the beautiful, poorly reviewed PS4 game The Order: 1886. It then pivoted to VR, creating beloved Rift game Lone Echo and the multiplayer spin-off Echo VR, which used the same space physics and Ender's Game-like gameplay. Acquired by Oculus Studios in mid-2020, Ready at Dawn released Lone Echo II more than four years after the original.
At the moment, the studio is running Echo VR's seventh and final season, Into the Knight, through January 2023, before "refocusing [their] efforts in other areas." In a summer 2022 developer log, they explained that none of its Rift titles will port to Quest, so you'll need a Link cable to play them on Quest. Instead, they "are in the early stages of working on new, exciting projects." So we probably won't hear from them for a good while.
Sanzaru Games made a name for itself creating remakes of classic franchises like Sly Cooper, Spyro, and God of War before pivoting to VR, launching virtual games like Marvel Powers United VR, Ripcoil, and the critically acclaimed Asgard's Wrath, all for the Oculus Rift.
Meta then acquired Sanzaru Games in early 2020, at which point the developer has remained silent on any new projects. Its absence at Meta Connect 2022 suggests we won't see anything from them until mid-2023 at the very earliest. But Meta filed a trademark for Worlds of Wrath about a month before the acquisition was announced (via Mixed News), which seems like suspicious timing to us. It's very possible that the developer is working on a world-expanding sequel to Asgard's Wrath; but Meta's recent focus on the Quest at the expense of Rift games may have forced Sanzaru to pivot to make the game work on mobile hardware, which could explain the delay.
Twisted Pixel Games
Originally working on indie games like 'Splosian Man and The Maw for Xbox Live Arcade, Twisted Pixel Games (like most devs on this list) turned to VR gaming, launching a few Oculus titles like Wilson's Heart and Path of the Warrior. But it hasn't released a new game since 2019 and was acquired by Meta in November 2021.
Considering its last four games' genres were horror, action, FPS, and beat-em-up, it's almost impossible to guess what Twisted Pixel Games has in store. Unlike some of the other picks, it doesn't already have something out to maintain for other platforms like PC VR, so it should produce a proper Quest exclusive in the future.
Unit 2 Games
Crayta is a game creation platform that let anyone develop a game using its assets and host it on Facebook gaming. A former Stadia exclusive — rest in peace, Stadia — Crayta doesn't technically have anything to do with VR or the Quest. But Meta, which acquired Unit 2 in June 2021, will use Crayta's assets to improve Horizon Worlds, the company's infamous precursor to the metaverse.
In a recent video presentation, Unit 2's head of studio, Andy Shenton, explained how they're working closely with the Horizon Worlds team to "bridge and develop Metaverse technologies." For example, they're working on the new Avatars that will extend across Meta Quest Pro apps like Microsoft Teams. So even if they're not making a "game," Unit 2 will have an impact on Meta's main software in the near future.
Supernatural is a popular Quest exercise app that requires a monthly subscription to get new guided workouts and licensed music. Meta acquired Within, the company behind Supernatural and a bunch of VR films, in late 2021, promising to deliver "more resources to expand and bring you even more music, more creative ways to workout, more features and more social experiences in VR."
The FTC blocked this acquisition, claiming that owning both Beat Saber and Supernatural would give Meta a "monopoly" on fitness VR experiences. The FTC eventually lost the case and Within is now officially part of Oculus Studios.
Supernatural was the first game to track your legs during workouts, something it probably pulled off with the help of RL engineers. And it could bring unique fitness experiences to the Quest Pro with mixed reality.
Other upcoming Quest games
Now that we're done with Meta's acquisitions let's talk about all the games, both confirmed and rumored, coming to the Meta Quest 2 from Oculus Studios' partners.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas VR is the most anticipated title coming to Quest, though it's been a year since Mark Zuckerberg first announced the port.
Vertigo Games, maker of Arizona Sunshine, After the Fall, and Unplugged, promised in 2021 to bring five new games to Oculus VR, though not exclusively. We know the company is working on new games like hack-and-slash roguelike Hellsweeper VR, and we hope it'll tap into some of its popular owned brands like Dead Island, Kingdom Come, or Metro Exodus.
Among Us VR will officially launch on November 10, porting the beloved pandemic-era social multiplayer game to virtual reality.
Following up on the acclaimed Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Chapter 2: Retribution has a tireless foe pursuing you like the Nemesis in Resident Evil 3. And Skydance is also working on a new game called Behemoth, though we know little about the survival VR game yet.
Otherwise, we have a list of all the upcoming Quest 2 games to get you excited about what's to come!
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.