Oculus VR and BBC Earth, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s own natural history producer, have announced a new partnership. The first order of business: three VR experiences based on the lives of three different animals, Black Bears, the Caracal Cat, and an Oogpister Beetle.

BBC Worldwide says that all three virtual reality experiences will be released separately on Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR platforms this January and will be available free to download for the first three months.

Cat Flight, featuring the jumping prowess of the Caracal Cat, will integrate computer generated imagery (CGI) into 360 degree video. Giving you the ability to “freeze the Caracal mid-jump and adjust the zoom,” Cat Flight will teach users about just how they survive in the wild.

image courtesy BBC Earth
image courtesy BBC Earth

Oogie, based on the Oogpister Beetle, is an interactive game constructed from real life footage from BBC Earth that follows the African beetle through the Savannah. Users will need to guide the beetle to safety, avoiding hazards, obstacles, and deadly predators.

Bear Island is an interactive 360 video that follows Black Bears on their journey to the banks of an Alaskan river. Users will be able to jump between different perspectives and parallel storylines to learn more about how Black Bears live and feed.

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Julia Kenyon, Global Brands Director for BBC Worldwide said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Oculus to give audiences a completely different insight into the natural world. By allowing users to immerse themselves in the environments of these three animals, we are hoping to bring people rich and unforgettable adventures different from any traditional natural history series.’’

These three VR experiences mark BBC Worldwide’s first step into creating virtual reality content, maintaining that there will be more to come.

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