Facebook has acquired BigBox VR, the company behind multiplayer virtual reality game POPULATION: ONE. The VR game has been one of the top-performing titles on the Oculus platform since its launch in 2020, and racked up $10 million in revenue within a few months. The social media giant and Oculus now plan to help BigBox accelerate its vision for the game.
Mike Verdu, vice president of content for Facebook Reality Labs, in a blog post stated that the company continues to invest in content that fosters social connection and believe POP: ONE delivers this experience to the VR community in spades within a super fun gaming experience.
“There’s something magical about interacting with geographically distant people in the same virtual space, whether you are handing off objects, engaging in friendly competition, or simply catching up,” Verdu said. “We believe that these powerful social connections are paramount to accelerating the growth of VR, and we continue to invest in content and teams that share this perspective.”
The Facebook executive said one of the most popular social experiences in VR has proven to be POPULATION: ONE. “It stormed onto the VR scene just nine months ago and has consistently ranked as one of the top-performing titles on the Oculus platform, bringing together up to 24 people at a time to connect, play and compete in a virtual world. And while social is bringing players into POP: ONE, the quirky humor, continual updates, and pure fun of the environment keeps them coming back time and time again – we have seen seven players scheduling time to meet in-game for a synchronous social experience. BigBox VR may be small, but they are a mighty nimble team of game industry vets who seamlessly nail the game development duality of craft and data-driven live service.”
Meanwhile, this is Facebook’s third acquisition of a Seattle-area company, others include Rel8tion (2011) and Atlas Solutions (2013) and represents another VR studio swooped up by the tech giant – adding to its collection of Sanzaru Games, Downpour Interactive, Ready at Dawn and Beat Games.
POP: ONE borrows mechanics from popular battle royale games such as Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds that have been immensely popular and PC and console gamers over the past several years. But it is unique given the game is built for virtual reality, allowing gamers to climb, fly and shoot as if they were actually doing so in real life.