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Buy Beat Saber, Facebook continues to lose money on VR road

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Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Geek Park” (ID: geekpark), author biu, 36 氪 released with permission.VR has faded out of the capital market for a long time.People who are not optimistic but reluctant to say this technology say that VR is only missing a “killer” application.During the two years of VR silence, an app is unknowingly penetrating a narrower and narrower VR circle and entering more people’s horizons. This is the Beat Saber just released in May 2018.First-person Beat Saber game record | YouTube, a “killer” music rhythm game, sold more than 1 million copies in less than a year, and has already earned $ 20 million in March this year, making it the most downloaded game in VR history.Even if you haven’t played it, you may have seen game videos recorded by players in many places.Its operation threshold is very low. Players only need to wave the “light sword” to cut “blocks”. The combination of VR + music is fresh and exciting, plus the competitive scoring mechanism, many people bought their first modelVR headset.On November 27th local time, Facebook announced that it had acquired Beat Games, the game studio behind Beat Saber, and incorporated it into its own Oculus Studios. The transaction amount was not disclosed.This acquisition can be seen as another step in Facebook’s education in the VR market and accelerating the popularity of VR.From the total acquisition of Oculus for $ 3 billion in 2014 to Zuckerberg’s announcement in 2017 that 1 billion people will use VR, which step has Facebook taken?Good game “feedback” platform “(this achievement) makes it not only the most successful VR game in recent years, but also the most successful independent game on any platform. The success of Angry Birds on iOS (1With $ 6 million in annual revenue), making mobile phones a “reasonable” gaming platform, “said Tipatat Chennavasin, consultant at The VR Fund.He believes that just as Angry Birds is attracting users to buy iPhones, Beat Saber is “feeding back” VR.What’s so great about Beat Saber?It’s very simple from the bottom, and Beat Games co-founder Jaroslav Beck said that the game’s code is streamlined “maybe even on a washing machine.”At the same time, its operation logic is also very simple. On the virtual light show field, players only need to wave the lightsaber in the direction indicated on the block to hit the score.In addition, the blocks of the game are designed according to the rhythm of the background music.”Not every player likes shooting games, but it ’s easier for people to resonate with music.” Beat Saber has therefore developed a value-added model of charging by collaborating with artists for DLC (Game Additional Content) music packages. At the same time, playersCustom songs can also be imported via MOD.Another key to Beat Saber’s success is that developers know how to spread it on social media.Even before the game was even available, the team uploaded trial videos to YouTube, with millions of views.In addition, Beat Saber supports players to record third-person pictures during games, which not only allows people to understand virtual reality, but also how they can play in it.Beat Saber Screen Recording on YouTube | Search Screenshots Because of the above, Facebook set Beat Saber as a model for developers on Oculus Connect 6 in September this year.Even Oculus used this game as a benchmark to test the Insight tracking system on its VR all-in-one Quest to ensure that the headset can run the highest mode of the game.Facebook’s decision to include a game that even affects the design of its own VR headset is not surprising.Continue to “lost money” to acquire Beat Games, Facebook is showing a “funding” attitude-the studio will remain independent.This giant will bring more resources for publicity, funding and cooperation. For example, Beat Games will make it easier to work with top artists to bring more attractive DLC to the game.Facebook is still in the early stages of VR development, and Facebook has been exploring and nurturing this new platform with a “funding” attitude.For example, many practitioners approached by GeekPark (ID: GeekPark) stated that Facebook’s $ 399 Quest released at this year’s F8 conference “is losing money for sale.”Fortunately, according to The Information, Quest’s initial sales far exceeded Facebook’s internal expectations.In addition, Facebook also announced on OC6 that the total Oculus Store consumption has exceeded $ 100 million, of which 20% was spent on Quest.Five years ago, on the 601th day after Oculus VR launched a crowdfunding project, Facebook acquired it for $ 3 billion.In 2016 known as “the first year of VR”, Facebook launched the PC VR Oculus Rift for $ 599, and eventually sold 355,000 units, which was less than expected.In 2017, Zuckerberg announced that 1 billion people would use VR.One year later, this goal was not even reached 1%.”Take down AR / VR and accelerate their popularity” | Visual China but has been executing Zuckerberg’s call for “take down AR / VR and accelerate their popularity”.At the end of 2016, Oculus was reorganized, and internally split into two major departments: PC VR and mobile VR, and then Facebook continued to add weight to mobile VR.In 2018, Facebook launched Oculus Go, an entry-level VR all-in-one.Then, we also launched Quest and updated the Oculus Link function for it on QC6: As long as it is connected to a PC via USB Type-C, Quest is compatible with Rift applications and can be used as a PC VR.It can be seen that Facebook wants to rely on it to “volume” to accelerate market penetration.”Completed the first chapter” acquisition of Beat Games, and fully support its “killer” games, obviously help this “acceleration”.Oculus content director Mike Verdu said that the reason why I chose Beat Games was to see the sustainability of VR + music in terms of gameplay, as well as future development opportunities in e-sports, social, fitness, etc.Facebook also knows that users can only be retained if they have more “killer” content.Previously, Facebook also provided funding support for EA’s VR games Titanfall and Apex Legends, and collaborated with Lucasfilm to launch the interactive narrative work of the legendary IP Star Wars.It is worth mentioning that the latter is exclusive to the Oculus platform.Cooperation with the legendary IP “Star Wars” | Visual China According to an exclusive report by The Information in July this year, Facebook also quietly carried out “enclosure” on VR.According to two people familiar with the matter, Facebook plans to spend $ 1 billion to acquire a game studio and sign an exclusive agreement for a well-known VR version of the game to boost Oculus headset sales.In addition to the confirmed acquisition of Beat Games, it is reported that Facebook has completed the exclusive VR version of Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, two popular games.In addition to content, Facebook also revealed in July this year a brain-computer interface solution that is being studied, which will create an AR / VR “no need to speak, no hands on” input experience.In September, Facebook announced its first acquisition this year in the AR / VR space—the acquisition of EMG gesture recognition and neural interface company CTRL-labs.The company’s technology not only recognizes user gestures, it can also infer their intentions and translate them into actions.In addition, Facebook also released a new VR social platform Horizon on OC6 (open beta early next year), once again emphasizing its social genes.Horizon will replace Spaces and Rooms, which previously only supported 4 people.In Horizon, users can go to open spaces to make strange friends, or get along with friends in specific closed rooms.It can be seen that AR / VR has been placed on the top of the ten-year roadmap on F8 2017, and Facebook is pushing it from all aspects.Facebook’s 10-year roadmap | After Facebook launched Quest, Facebook ’s AR / VR design director Jon Lax said on Twitter: “After launching Quest, Oculus has completed the first chapter of VR, and then the good show will begin.Verdu also sent a positive signal this time: “Oculus will launch more high-quality games next year, and this is just the beginning.” But Oculus CTO John Carmack seems impatient to wait for the “second chapter”When he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award of the 3rd Annual VR Awards last month, he stated that he was “not satisfied with the progress made in VR” and then announced his departure..