Last year virtual reality (VR) developer Sanzaru Games launched fantasy adventure Asgard’s Wrath, an Oculus Rift exclusive which became one of 2019’s biggest titles. Made in collaboration with the Oculus Studios team, Facebook has now decided to acquire the developer, part of a growing trend within the videogame industry.
While Asgard’s Wrath is the most recent title Sanzaru Games has released its partnership with Oculus Studios stretches back to 2016 and covers four videogames in total; Ripcoil, VR Sports Challenge and MARVEL Powers United VR. Asgard’s Wrath has undoubtedly been the most successful of the bunch, offering a story based on Norse mythology, where you play as both god and mortal.
The purchase will help solidify the partnership between the two companies but also secure Sanazu Games’ talents as a VR developer for further projects on the Oculus platform. Facebook has mentioned that the team will join Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio out of its current offices in the US and Canada.
When it comes to what’s happening next at Sanzaru Games nothing’s being mentioned just yet: “Asgard’s Wrath was a great success and we’ve learned a lot from its development and launch, but we have nothing to announce about future projects at this time,” said Mike Verdu, Director of AR/VR Content at Facebook on the Oculus Blog. “Sanzaru has exciting plans for future VR titles and we hope to bring those experiences to as many people as possible.”
The acquisition may also have been spurred on by the loss of Insomniac Games which joined PlayStation Worldwide Studios last summer. Another developer which had released exclusive titles for Oculus Rift including the very well received Stormland, Insomniac Games did have a long history with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) having recently released Marvel’s Spider-Man as an exclusive on PlayStation 4.
Over the next year, Facebook may even bring more studios under its wing having also purchased Beat Saber developer Beat Games in 2019. “We’re exploring many ways to accelerate VR, and 2020 is going to be an incredible year for VR game launches and announcements. We are thrilled to have Sanzaru joining our team. This is just one of the many amazing VR announcements we have in store this year,” Verdu adds.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Sanzaru Games, reporting back with the latest updates.