Reality: Austin’s VR game maker Owlchemy Labs snapped up by Google

Posted May 10th, 2017

Austin’s Owlchemy Labs, which has been a bright spot in Austin’s burgeoning virtual-reality gaming and filmmaking scene, has been acquired by Google.

Owlchemy is responsible for one of the few hits among VR games so far, “Job Simulator,” which was a bundled title with the launch of the HTC Vive and which has gone on to releases on the Oculus Rift platform as well as PlayStation VR. Last month, Owlchemy released “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality,” based on the popular Adult Swim cartoon.

Last year, Owlchemy raised $5 million in seed funding to continue expanding its game development. At the time, it had 16 employees and has since grown to 23. In January, Owlchemy announced it had made $3 million on sales of “Job Simulator.”

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Google last year released Daydream, its own VR headset platform and a step up from the Cardboard platform it helped popularize. 

In a blog post, Google’s engineering director of VR and augmented reality Relja Markovic described Owlchemy’s games as “really thoughtful interactive experiences that are responsive, intuitive, and feel natural. They’ve helped set a high bar for what engagement can be like in virtual worlds, and do it all with a great sense of humor!” He wrote, “Together, we'll be working to create engaging, immersive games and developing new interaction models across many different platforms to continue bringing the best VR experiences to life.”