Beat Games—the developer behind popular VR rhythm game Beat Saber—has been brought into the fold of Oculus Studios. That’s the VR-specific studio label that Facebook has built to support the Oculus VR system that the social media company purchased from its creator. Oculus director of content Mike Verdu announced the buyout, saying that the studio will remain independent to a degree.
Beat Games will now operate as a subsidiary of the social media giant, and their office in Prague will remain operational. The developer will continue work on existing content, including the promised 360° game mode due sometime before the end of 2019. Facebook’s support will allow the studio to bring “more music and more exciting features to Beat Saber,” in addition to existing content.
It’s that last bit though that has fans concerned about the future.
Beat Saber has featured a variety of songs from different artists, with both minor and major names in the music industry being showcased. Even gaming got some time in the limelight with music from games like Rocket League getting DLC for Beat Saber. A much bigger part of the new content strategy up to this point has been an active and talented modding scene. The modders surrounding this VR title have done incredible work expanding the variety of tracks and effects in the music game, far beyond what the studio could have otherwise done. But as with all modding in games, it operated in a pretty distinct grey area.
The developer wishes they could foster all that creative intent, and when speaking about the future of modding, the explanation is pretty clear.”we understand and appreciate the value that modding brings to Beat Saber when done so legally and within our policies.” Facebook and Oculus have echoed similar ideas in their own responses to concerns over modders.
With that said though, the future of modding in Beat Saber is going to be a lot more strict. As Verdu explained, “our most recent policy updates give more clarity to how developer mode is intended to be used, such as helping developers build their apps or for enthusiasts to explore new concepts. It is not intended for engaging in piracy or illicit modding, including mods that infringe on third-party IP rights or contain malicious code.”
As of now, mods remain open to all, but expect a crackdown on the variety of content on the system in the coming weeks.