Oculus published a job listing recently that could mean the company is finally looking to enter the VR arcade space. The listing, which calls for a ‘Producer of location based entertainment’, is tasked with building and curating a “portfolio of location based experiences in collaboration with LBE (Location Based Experience) stakeholders at Oculus.”

As first reported by Variety, the listing holds that candidates must “source content from potential LBE partners,” “develop relationships with best-in-class LBE partners and developers,” and “negotiate developer deals,” which could see Oculus-approved VR content make its way into VR arcades.

The listing is no longer available on either Facebook or Oculus’ career page, although a cached version is available, pointing to the likelihood that the job has been recently filled.

What’s more, at Oculus Connect last month the company showed off a multiplayer version of Dead and Buried which allowed up to eight participants to shoot it out in a wild west-style gunfight wearing Oculus Quest, the upcoming high-end standalone headset. The prototype game, which played out in a large area included with physical barriers to match its VR environment, was developed in-house at Oculus Studios, and not by Dead and Buried developers Gunfire Games.

Photo by Road to VR

Although Oculus hasn’t specifically couched Quest as a business-class device just yet, the standalone headset presents a fairly compelling use-case for VR arcades looking to lower start-up costs with the $400 ‘all-in’ device, which includes the both on-board compute power and optical “arena scale” tracking. Two optically-tracked controllers, dubbed ‘Touch’, allow for basic Rift-like functionality at a fraction of the cost.

Oculus hasn’t announced specific plans to get into the VR arcade space yet, although Oculus Head of Experiences Colum Slevin held a talk at Connect, giving location-based experiences a vote of confidence.

“We love the idea of an audience being able to go to a destination, and have an experience, and love that experience and continue that adventure at home,” Slevin said. “This is something we are working really closely with a number of partners on, how we can tie a location-based experience to an in-home experience.”

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As a precedent, Oculus-funded games have without exception stayed exclusive to the company’s software platform, which doesn’t offer native support for HTC Vive or HTC Vive Pro. If Oculus intends on following that precedent, it stands to reason that arcades would need to be outfitted with Oculus brand headsets—a move that could offer strong competition to HTC.

HTC has been very active in promoting both its partner location-based facilities such as the popular VR Zone arcade as well as its Viveport Arcade platform that allows “turn key” access to hundreds of VR games and experiences for arcade owners. The company has also recently partnered with Virtual Reality League to organize a VR arcade-focused eSports gaming league that would focus on organizing city-based teams using VR arcades as a home base for competition across a global network of arcades.

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  • johnny

    Instead of releasing the tools to the public Oculus is like apple, keeping the gate close, Let’s hope Microsoft release those tools and features to the public, here’s a video that show’s that Microsoft is also on the same path [skip to 6m to see the juicy stuff]:
    https://youtu.be/ynJB6p9CWh0

    • Darshan

      Releasing tools to the public may or may not end as success, messing around with unknown tools not always bring brighter outcomes. Some times developer may not touch them at all. we are yet to see wonderful things made in “The Lab” by valve utilized in same way in AAA Game, there are many such examples.

      Can someone tell me where are those much sung Vulkan engine developed Games?

      IMO Oculus must curate for some time and eventually release .. I think they are already doing it, don’t they?

  • VR4EVER

    Sounds like a great idea, imo! Quest is just what my doctor ordered.

  • Darshan

    Why only commercial viewpoint

    Use case 1:
    Multilayer with 4 or 6 Units at home (for those who can afford..or purchased over a period of time) with all family members involved… It could be a grand entertainment provided people have such space and apps to deliver.

    Use Case 2:
    Each Unit can perfectly work as personal Television to each member .. Any way now a days all members hardly see a single program since every one have their own choices on what to see for recreation.

    Think of Quest become Cellphone like item …each person in household owns one.. Anyway most people send $400+ individually on Cellphones in family.. Why this can’t happen i see no reasons..

    • Uephla mordecai

      Very realistic point of view. Before I used to buy a phone every year. Now I don’t see a reason to do it. So the Quest came to refill that need maybe. If other companies start to see that way VR and AR will boom really fast than till now.