What you need to know
- Sony and PlayStation acquired Insomniac Games in August of 2019.
- Stormland came out a few months after in November of 2019, making it their last non-PlayStation release.
- Oculus published the title, but Insomniac, now owned by Sony, owns the property.
Earlier today, VR YouTuber Nathaniël de Jong (aka Nathie) first noticed and tweeted that Stormlands was no longer available on the Oculus Store. One of our favorite Quest 2 games, Stormlands was developed by Insomniac Games, which used to make Oculus games before joining Playstation Studios. The developer's other Oculus Store game, The Unspoken, was also removed.
So it seems like Stormland has been pulled from the Oculus store. You can no longer buy it but can confirm that it can be installed. Maybe the contract with Insomniac Games has expired or they did it because the servers became a ghost town. Thanks @MartinRisbyVR for the heads up! pic.twitter.com/RP3lHLrBLJSo it seems like Stormland has been pulled from the Oculus store. You can no longer buy it but can confirm that it can be installed. Maybe the contract with Insomniac Games has expired or they did it because the servers became a ghost town. Thanks @MartinRisbyVR for the heads up! pic.twitter.com/RP3lHLrBLJ— Nathie (@NathieVR) January 6, 2022January 6, 2022
The timing of this removal initially raised eyebrows, given Sony's imminent re-entry into VR. The company announced the PSVR 2, its next-generation VR headset, at its CES presentation earlier this week. Given Sony owns the rights to all of Insomniac's IP, it's not out of the question that Sony and PlayStation would pull Insomniac's games from competitors' storefronts in order to port and republish them on their own storefronts.
However, Meta has put a damper on these rumors. When we reached out to the company for comment, it responded, "Stormland is back in the store after having completed the Data Protection Assessment, which you can read more about in our blog from September." The company then linked to a September blog post (opens in new tab) detailing a new process that developers are required to complete in order to keep their game on the Oculus storefront.
Meta's comment didn't specify whether Stormland was taken down because Insomniac hadn't completed the Data Protection Assessment by its deadline, or if the game was taken down during the assessment.
It's safe to say that Insomniac may never release any new experiences on the Oculus Store. The Sony acquisition also seemingly killed Insomniac's Xbox-exclusive franchise Sunset Overdrive. Since the acquisition, both Sony and Insomniac have been largely radio silent on any sequel plans, though Insomniac Creative Director, Marcus Smith said there was "Nothing really stopping" the studio from developing another Sunset Overdrice in an interview with GQ. But the original is still available on Game Pass and the Microsoft Store, at least.
Even if Sony owns Stormland through Insomniac, Oculus Studios actually served as the game's publisher, so licensing agreements could prevent Sony from removing it without Oculus's approval. Otherwise, the two VR rivals probably have little reason to play nice with one another.
The Oculus Quest 2 has sold in huge numbers in its first year, thanks to its wireless simplicity and high-quality exclusives. The PSVR 2, meanwhile, will rely on a tethered connection to the PS5, offering bigger-name exclusives like Horizon Call of the Mountain and better graphics.
We've speculated that the Quest's success could hurt the PSVR 2, given Meta's acquisition of more VR studios and cheaper VR entry point. And we don't know yet how Sony's new console will compare to the Quest Pro and Quest 3.
Given all this, Sony may want to port old games like Stormland to the PSVR 2 to bolster its launch library. Especially if a theoretical port of Stormland takes advantage of the PSVR 2's unique features and sees some visual upgrades. But if Oculus has exclusive rights, it may not happen.
The Best VR Headset
Get it while you can still play Stormland on it
The Oculus Quest 2 combines simplicity and a great library of exclusives to make it a must-buy for anyone interested in VR.
Charlie's a freelance contributor at Android Central from Milwaukee, WI.