Nov 27, 2019

Facebook's Oculus buys VR company behind Beat Saber

Ina Fried, author of Login

Image: Beat Games

Facebook said Tuesday in a blog post that its virtual reality unit is buying Beat Games, the company behind Beat Saber, one of the most popular games for its Oculus devices.

Why it matters: The move comes as a sign that Facebook continues to believe in — and put money into — VR even as the industry has slowed more than some had hoped.

Between the lines: Some wonder whether Facebook will draw legal challenges that the small, independent Beat Games did not. Troubles could include the use of copyrighted music or use of the terms "saber" and "lightsaber," given Disney is not known for liking others to use its intellectual property.

  • There's also the question of how long Facebook will be committed to Beat Saber for non-Oculus platforms, though Facebook said it plans to continue developing for all VR devices it currently supports.

What's next: Facebook suggested more deals may follow. "We’re exploring many ways to accelerate VR, and we think next year is going to be an incredible one of VR game launches and announcements. We are thrilled to have Beat Games join our team. This is just the beginning," the tech giant said in the blog post.

Go deeper: Facebook charts a path toward a more social virtual reality

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

George Floyd updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.