The newly rebranded Facebook Inc (Meta) announced that the studio behind VR workout game Supernatural will be joining the company, adding to the roster of studios owned by what used to be known as Facebook’s Oculus division.
Supernatural was one of the first subscription-based services on the Oculus Quest (soon to be called the Meta Quest). The app, which uses video avatars of instructors in combination with motion-tracked workout routines (boxing was just added), sometimes feels like a ramped-up fitness version of the VR game Beat Saber.
“Our partnership with Meta means we will have more resources to expand and bring you even more music, more creative ways to work out, more features and more social experiences for VR,” Within CEO Chris Milk said in a statement Friday.
The company says that Within, the company behind Supernatural, will continue to work on the popular fitness app and will also help Meta’s Reality Labs “enhance future hardware to support VR fitness apps.”
Meta scooping up Within isn’t necessarily a surprise move: it’s spent the last few years acquiring tons of popular VR studios, like Lone Echo devs Ready at Dawn, the team behind Beat Saber, and others working on projects that some have called the VR versions of Fortnite and Roblox.
Given Meta’s focus on its headsets as workout tools (Supernatural even got a callout in its Connect keynote on Thursday), it tracks that Zuckerberg’s company would want to add a popular VR fitness game to its roster. The move, however, doesn’t help with concerns that Meta is going to end up owning the entire virtual reality market.
While Supernatural is Within’s flagship app, according to the company’s site, it’s also been the host of VR experiences, too — in 2016, the Mr. Robot VR episode (executive produced by Within founder Chris Milk) was shown on the app, and the company’s website contains dozens of documentaries, music videos, and more. That streaming tech and library of content isn’t a bad get either for a company trying to build a metaverse where people hang out and watch content together.
Source: The Verge