Facebook today announced its fourth VR studio acquisition. This time it’s Downpour Interactive, the studio behind the popular VR shooter Onward which has been continuously developed since its Early Access launch on PC back in 2016. More recently the game launched on Oculus Quest where it has become one of the headset’s most popular titles.

Facebook announced the acquisition today on the Oculus blog, saying that it is “eager to support Dante [CEO] and Downpour Interactive in growing Onward as one of the foremost multiplayer VR games […].” The company also promises that “Onward will continue to be supported on all its current platforms,” including Steam.

The company says that the entire Downpour Interactive team will join Facebook “in some capacity,” and that the team has “exciting plans for future Onward updates and future projects.”

Downpour Interactive had been working with Coatsink as a publisher, though it isn’t clear if the company was involved in the deal; the terms of the acquisition were not announced.

Downpour Interactive CEO Dante Buckley shared a message about the acquisition on the official Onward website:

Today is a very exciting day for Onward and the Downpour team, we are joining Oculus Studios at Facebook! I remember when I wrote the first line of code for Onward and walked around “Cargo,” one of the first maps in game. Putting on a VR headset and building this dream game was a magical experience every day. From those early days to now, Onward and Downpour have grown and made huge strides in the VR industry. I can’t thank my team enough for their hard work and dedication, as well our passionate and dedicated player community.

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.

Today’s acquisition marks the fourth VR studio that Facebook has bought, seemingly in an effort to have greater control over the destiny of killer VR apps and the talent behind them. Facebook has also acquired Beat Games (Beat Saber), Sanzaru Games (Asgard’s Wrath and others), Ready at Dawn (Lone Echo and others), and now Downpour Interactive, all within the last year and a half.

Felix & Paul Studios Secures Multi-Million Dollar Financing for Next Location-based VR Experience

While Facebook and Downpour Interactive have promised to continue to support Onward on Oculus and non-Oculus platforms alike, it seems likely that future titles from the studio will be exclusive to Oculus.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • wheeler

    Not much (except polish and partial custom map support) has really happened with the game since 2018 when development resources clearly shifted elsewhere. It was around then that I started to suspect that something like this might be in the game’s future. That Onward itself will remain on Steam (like Beat Saber) is hardly surprising or something to take solace in given how little has actually changed (and then there was the big regression). Whatever comes next will clearly require a FB account and suffer from standalonization.

    Another one of the good ones gets gobbled up.

    • kontis

      FB prepares for Apple’s entrance to XR, so when that happens FB will have a solid base of exclusive VR content that is also well known even among people who never had any XR device before.

      Beat Saber will probably be FB’s iMessage in fight with Apple.

  • Ad

    Gee, I wonder why Facebook didn’t let Pavlov launch as free to play on quest.

  • SixTacos
    • kakek

      Don’t be overdramatic.
      Can you tell me of a company that invested more on PCVR than facebook ?
      and lone echo 2 is still a PC exclusive. The only one on this scale announced I think.

      In fact, it means that of the 4 studio they acquired, at least one has been working on PC only.

      • DanDei

        Do you really think a PC focussed Echo 2 would still be greenlit today? They started full production before Oculus made the full shift towards Quest. And now they are buying a company who fully submitted to that platform by downgrading their game to the detriment of PC players and the only benefit to make it run on shitty mobile processors.
        Yeah, great future for PCVR with Facebook in it.
        At this point all my hopes rest on Sony to kick it off big with PSVR2 so we will eventually get multiplatform AAA games for PS5 and PC level hardware. Because Oculus is clearly not going in that direction.

        • Peter Laurent

          Sony has a ton of exclusive VR games, don’t pin your hopes on them for multiplatform releases

      • Ad

        It was either on PC or canceled.

    • jbob4mall

      Why are we always supposed to care about people on pcvr? Think how many pc exclusives they already have. Why don’t they criticise Valve for not putting half life on ps or quest? Frankly it’s their own fault for choosing pc.

      • ElectricJolt

        I’m not sure how else to tell you this, but VR wasn’t always on its own dedicated headsets like the quest and games weren’t developing for technology that didn’t exist… Also Half-Life: Alyx has been in development for years along with most pcvr games. Also, yes if I own a very expensive pc I am going to take advantage and use it to play VR, just because we didn’t buy the mobile-platform of VR games doesn’t mean we’re dumb

  • Holdup

    My favorite VR game is now a Facebook exclusive ouch

  • TechPassion

    Pavlov VR is the best game anyway. No other shooter brings so much joy and relax like Pavlov VR.

  • Now we understand why they rushed so much the Quest porting…

    • Annie Bolin

      Get $190 per h from Google!…~a1859~ Indeed this can be best since I basically got my underlying finance check of $24413 and this was simply of one week…I am aslo purchased Range Rover Velar right after this payment…~a1859~ it is really best job I have even had and you will not for give yourself if you not check it >>>> http://4ty.me/be4f7v !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Uhh, that’s been like what? two years ago?

      • Random

        Andrew you’re a facebook shill lol and stop downvoting for people who criticises facebook. Sad person

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Not really, I’m just a being realistic, some people keep blaming FB for everything even when it wasn’t even their fault at the time it happened. Yeah, there are some bad sides about FB, but you they seem to be the only ones at the moment who actually drive VR forward for mainstream. It’s actually those persons who keep bitching over and over about FB who are the sad persons. yeah we know it, you hate FB, and nothing they do will ever make you happy.

          • kakek

            I kinda agree with andrew.

            I DO hate facebook, notably for it’s anti-concurencial practices, for forcing the use of a facebook account, and/or forcing you to use real infos as much as they can.
            I should be able to use my video game withotu giving up my personal life !

            But at the same time, they do not deserve all the blame they receive for the devs going for quest.

          • Frozenbizkit

            Going to Quest was downpours first step into the grave and now with FB owning them their officially dead to me.. The player base now is toxic and finding a good match with mature players is next to impossible.. Also Daddy FB can piss on itself.

          • Ad

            they seem to be the only ones at the moment who actually drive VR forward for mainstream

            Don’t care, I wasn’t born in a VR worshiping country.

  • I can’t be the only person who thinks they likely *meant* to buying Pavlov and some stuffed-suit got confused somewhere down the line.

    Not that I’m one to talk. I recently confused Contractors with Zero Caliber in a Quest store purchase. Not exactly the single player supporting shooter I was hoping for…. :/

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Pfff. they’ve got money enough, so they might also just buy Pavlov, ofcourse if the devs want to sell their company.. I probably would in a heartbeat, as if I didn’t like it, I just quit and start a new company, but with a nicely filled bankaccount.

    • Ad

      Pavlov aren’t bootlickers who want cushy jobs at facebook and stock options, they wouldn’t sell. Instead facebook breaks devs who won’t play ball.

  • Alex

    Noice, now that you’re part of a 300 billion dollar company and not indies we don’t have to treat you like the latter, instead set our expectations according to the former. I hope Onward will be finished on all the platforms soon, with the mission, campaign, proper enemy/friendly AI and everything else abundant and polished up, before moving on to your inevitable Quest only games. After all, you wouldn’t push it out of early access before it’s ready just to move on, or stop catering to some platforms in favor of parity, eventually removing things like the better shaders, textures, models, lighting and effects of existing content so that it will match what’s coming ahead. I can’t wait to see my favorite VR FPS finished with all its features. Get on with it, Facebook/Oculus Studios!

    • Wild Dog

      I like your attitude.

  • CastlegarGlenn

    I wonder what happens when Facebook discovers what an absolute shi*-show DPI is.

    • xyzs

      You are ex employee ?

      • xyzs

        Downvoted for a question…

  • Zack71

    Zucchi, you should buy Hardsuit Labs, so Bloodlines 2 will be for Oculus VR!

  • xyzs

    No respect for this company that had the disgrace to downgrade their game on purpose to match the Quest version. Disgusting mentality.

    Now their are one more atom of the FB stinky galaxy… good for them.

    • Ad

      All we wanted was for them to keep the PC version alive, as it was. But no, they wanted to force the entire community onto this broken product, after people invested so much time into modding, an esports league, arcades, and more.

  • Frozenbizkit

    RIP Onward.

  • Patricia Dunbar

    Ashley this-past month I collected $19562 through working on pc at home in my spare-time..(w764) I figured out to do it by spending some hours in whole day consistently-computer.(w764) it’s very nice and any of you definetly can get this. >>> http://url.zooz.org/webmoney