Two years after the launch of the Story Studio, Oculus team decided to shift the focus away from internal content creation to support more external production.

Facebook has announced that it shutters Oculus Story Studio, its virtual reality content production unit, just two years after the launch.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production,” said Oculus VP of Content Jason Rubin. “As part of that shift, we’ll be winding down Story Studio”.

He mentioned that Oculus will invest $50 million to directly fund creators of non-gaming VR content. Earlier in October, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled at the Oculus Connect developer conference that Facebook had already invested more than $250 million in original VR content. Another $250 million will be allocated into original content plays to give Rift and Gear VR users something to watch on their headsets.

Rubin assured that Oculus is “still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem.”

In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus for $3 billion. Mark Zuckerberg said he believed the medium that offers a 360-degree panoramic view using headsets “will become a part of daily life for billions of people.”

Oculus Story Studio was launched to explore creating original cinematic content for the virtual reality company. The studio presented its first experience, short film called “Lost”, at Sundance two years ago.

Last year, the studio got a prestigious Emmy award for short animated story Henry, a Pixar-like experience about the lonely hedgehog on his birthday. It was the first time a piece of Oculus-made software has won a high-profile award like this.

While working on the latest project Dear Angelica, Oculus Story Studio created Quill, an extensive VR painting product for users to create own content inside virtual reality. Quill will still be available for download in the Oculus store, but no more updates are planned.

The fourth major project, The Wolves in the Walls, was announced to be cancelled after the studio shutdown.

About 50 former employees will be allowed to apply for other positions elsewhere within Oculus or Facebook.

In April, Facebook held its annual event F8 2017 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. The event aimed at the exploration of the future of technology gathered more than 4,000 people and was also available via Facebook Live.

This year, the keynote of the conference was camera as the first mainstream augmented reality platform. Nowadays, cameras provide a number of options besides photos and videos – people can use them to write text on images, add digital objects or modify existing things with face filters and style transfers.

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