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Oculus sets sights on film industry following studio partnership

Most people assume that Oculus will have a major impact on the video game industry, but the Facebook-owned company has also set its sights on the movie market.

The news emerged after it was announced that the firm behind the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR will be partnering with Felix & Paul Studios, a company dedicated to creating cinematic VR experiences.

Read more: Oculus pushes forward with mixed reality, acquiring Surreal Vision

The collaboration has been described as the “largest live-action VR deal to date” and will see Felix & Paul create virtual reality content for Oculus users. The studio has already produced several highly rated VR projects including Jurassic World: Apatosaurus, where users get to experience “what it’s like to be in the presence and close proximity of a living dinosaur.”

Oculus Rift has been in development for more than three years, but a consumer launch is still yet to materialise, with earliest estimates suggesting a Q1 2016 release. In the meantime, many other companies have entered the VR market, with Sony’s Project Morpheus and Microsoft’s HoloLens among Oculus’ main competitors.

Considering that Microsoft’s device may have an easier route into the video game market through the company’s Xbox console range, it’s not surprising that Oculus is refusing to place all its eggs in one basket. By targeting other entertainment mediums, like film, it can offer a broader range of virtual reality content.

Jason Rubin, head of studios at Oculus, claimed that his company was “incredibly excited by the artistry and entertainment made possible by the rapidly expanding world of 3D 360 VR moviemaking.”

Read more: Oculus Rift 2 is already in development

Felix & Paul Studios was founded by Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël, both of whom worked previously as commercial directors, and has big plans for VR technology. A “virtual reality series” called Nomads is already in the works, which will transport Oculus users to Africa to experience life with the Maasai tribe of Kenya.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.