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Friday, May 05, 2017
Facebook Shutters Oculus Film Studio

Facebook's virtual reality content production unit, Oculus' Story Studio, is shuttering its doors to shift focus on supporting external content makers, the company said on Thursday.

Oculus, which makes virtual reality headsets Rift and Gear VR, will allocate $50 million to directly fund creators of non-gaming VR content, Jason Rubin, the company's vice president of content, said in a blog post.

Rubin added that Oculus is "still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem."

Oculus tapped talent from animation company Pixar and the video gaming world to head up Story Studio, which it launched in January 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival.

Facebook's VR ambitions have been threatened somewhat by a lawsuit from video game publisher ZeniMax Media Inc accusing Facebook and Oculus of infringing ZeniMax's copyrighted software code.

A jury found in ZeniMax's favor in February, awarding it $500 million. Oculus has asked for a new trial.

Oculus debuted its first short film called "Lost" at Sundance two years ago. Last year, Story Studio won an Emmy for original interactive program for its short VR film "Henry," and at Sundance this year, it premiered "Dear Angelica," an illustrated film of a mother and daughter.

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