Facebook has acquired Onward developer Downpour Interactive


(Image credit: Downpour Interactive)

Facebook has acquired Downpour Interactive, developer of VR military sim Onward. Mike Verdu, VP, AR/VR Content at Facebook, issued a statement on the Oculus site, saying that "as part of the Oculus Studios team, Downpour Interactive will expand upon its ethos of creating stand-out games that evoke the human spirit and give players a 'downpour' of emotion. We’re so happy to welcome them to the family."

Everyone at Downpour Interactive will be join the Oculus Studios team "in some capacity", while Verdu gives this as the reason for the acquisition:

"We’ve seen great success with Onward on the Oculus platform for several years—first on Rift and more recently on Quest. Becoming part of the Oculus Studios family will give Downpour Interactive the opportunity to cultivate both the Onward community with the full support of Oculus Studios resources, and, in the future, pursue other projects."

Verdu says that Downpour has "exciting" plans for those future projects, and for updates to Onward. The game's been in early access for five years—you can play it on PC and Oculus Quest, and with a bunch of different headsets, not just the Oculus Rift—and Verdu says that support will continue for all current platforms. Meanwhile, Downpour Founder and CEO Dante Buckley had this to say in a FAQ on the game's site:

"With us joining Oculus Studios at Facebook, we can now realize Onward's full vision with tremendous support and resources. This means a better game for all our players on all platforms. There are no changes in hierarchy or in vision, everyone at Downpour is still working hard to deliver you the best game possible. Thank you all for your continued support, and stay tuned for future updates and content."

Buckley says there will be no changes to Onward's roadmap, other than that the team will be able to "accelerate development of new features". Meanwhile, there will be "no staff changes at Downpour Interactive as a result of the acquisition, and the same developers who were working on Onward before the acquisition will continue to do so now."

This isn't the first time Facebook has acquired the developer of a VR game. Over a year ago, Facebook acquired Beat Saber studio Beat Games. If you're tempted by the Oculus Quest, but would rather not deal with the enforced Facebook account, then the good news, I guess, is that you can spend an extra $500 to buy a Facebook-free version of the headset.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.