Google’s recent acquisition of Owlchemy Labs is more than just a business transaction. It represents the emergence of Virtual Reality technology in the consumer marketplace. With popular VR platforms that include Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality and Job Simulator, the VR studio Owlchemy has quite the impressive resume. Google has obviously taken notice.


Google’s Investment in VR

Raking in over $3 Million in sales, Rick and Morty Simulator is a VR game compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift developed by Owlchemy Labs and published by Adult Swim Games for Microsoft Windows on April 20th, 2017. Showcasing the potential of virtual reality adventure games, Rick and Morty is based on the animated series from the cartoon network.

According to a recent article in New Atlas, “Rick and Morty capitalized on Simulator’s unique VR mechanisms and hand interactions, catapulting it to a new level of singular enjoyment.” Like Owlchemy Labs, Google is no stranger to the VR development world. From the Daydream mobile VR headset to the Tilt Brush and Google Earth VR experiences, Google has kept its pulse on the VR industry. Now that Google Earth VR is available for Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, the Owlchemy Labs acquisition should be a seamless one.

Owlchemy Labs’ Dedication to VR

“We want to continue building high-quality VR content for platforms like HTC Vive, Oculus Touch and PlayStation VR. This means continuing to focus on hand interactions and high-quality user experiences,” the team at Owlchemy Labs said in a recent company press release. With a focus on building quality multiplatform games, Google’s acquisition of Owlchemy Labs solidifies VR gaming as a legitimate force to be reckoned within the consumer marketplace.

Even though Owlchemy Labs is known for their wacky yet highly acclaimed approach to VR gaming development, Google’s vision aligned perfectly with the progressive studio. As Owlchemy so eloquently stated in their most recent statement:

“We both believe that VR is the most accessible computing platform and that there’s a ton of work to be done, especially with regards to natural and intuitive interactions. Together with Google, with which we share an incredible overlap in vision, we’re free to pursue raw creation and print toward interesting problems in these early days of VR.”

Here is a quick glimpse of the VR technology both Google and Owlchemy Labs had in common and will certainly be instrumental in the development of future VR interaction:

The HTC Vive

The HTC Vive was developed by HTC in collaboration with Valve. HTC recommends a 2 x 1.5-meter space to VR. You get 360˚ motion tracking with Vive thanks to breakthrough base station technology that helps the headset and controllers track their exact location in space. The HTC Vive plugs into PCs and work with Valve’s mammoth gaming ecosystem. Great is that with Vive you are not sitting in the chair and watching VR, you are inside of VR while experience still needs more polishing.

Oculus Rift Touch

Rift is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Whether you’re stepping into your favorite game, watching an immersive VR movie, jumping to a destination on the other side of the world, or just spending time with friends in VR, you’ll feel like you’re really there. Rift’s advanced display technology combined with its precise, low-latency constellation tracking system enables the sensation of presence – the feeling as though you’re actually there. The magic of presence changes everything. You’ve never experienced immersion like this.

Sources: New Atlas, Owlchemy Labs