Today Google announced via their blog that they’ve acquired Owlchemy Labs, the creators of Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. The move comes as a bit of a surprise, given the two companies didn’t seem to have much of a preexisting relationship, but is huge news for the VR industry nevertheless. The partnership will be similar to Google’s role with Tilt Brush studio, Skillman & Hackett.
Owlchemy Labs have established themselves as a premiere developer of VR content over the last year, earning $3 million in sales with Job Simulator, and has a penchant for creating intuitive, hilarious, and immersive worlds that you want to reach out and interact with. It’s worth noting that, even though Google has its own VR content platform in the form of Daydream, they will not prevent Owlchemy from releasing their projects on other headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR (PSVR).
In fact, Owlchemy doesn’t have a single app available on Google Daydream as of the time of this writing.
“We set out on a journey over six years ago to build the kinds of games we wanted to see exist,” states the Owlchemy blog post on the topic. “Over those years, we learned that Owlchemy, at its core, cares deeply about a few key things: building quality multi-platform games, solving tough problems with a small but absurdly talented team, sharing our learnings with the community, and Austin’s famous tacos. Now, as we look to the future with Google by our side, we couldn’t be happier. Our plan to build awesome things will continue forward stronger than ever.
“This means Owlchemy will continue building high quality VR content for platforms like the HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, and PlayStation VR. This means continuing to focus on hand interactions and high quality user experiences, like with Job Simulator. This means continuing our mission to build VR for everyone, and doing all of this as the same silly Owlchemy Labs you know and love. We are continuing to do all of this with even more support and focus on building awesome stuff. It’s incredibly exciting that Google and Owlchemy are so well aligned on our goals and vision for the future of VR.”
We will continue to provide updates on this story as we find out more information. For more details on the making of Rick and Morty VR, read our behind-the-scenes story and watch the mini-documentary above.
Update: This story was originally published as a short blurb and was updated with more details afterwards by Games Editor David Jagneaux.