Oculus Story Studio, the company’s internal production studio tasked with creating ridiculously polished cinematic experiences, first announced they’d be winding down production last summer. Now officially defunct, studio alumni are heading off on their own to form a new firm dubbed Fable Studio, which is furthering development on Story Studio’s last remaining project, Wolves in the Walls. Fable is also introducing a new pricing model for its upcoming character-driven VR experiences.
Oculus Story Studio co-founder Edward Saatchi and Pete Billington, director of Wolves in the Walls, join as co-founders of Fable Studio. Fable is launching with the premiere of Chapter 1 of Wolves in the Walls at Sundance New Frontiers on January, 19th. The project, a VR adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book The Wolves in the Walls, will span three chapters.
Shortly after Oculus Story Studio ended production on the Emmy Award-winning Henry in early 2015, the team wanted to dig further into one of the most important problems in VR—creating an experience with an interactive character that’s both natural and meaningful. The goal is essentially feeling like you’re really inhabiting a space with a thinking, feeling person. Fable says Wolves in the Walls protagonist Lucy displays natural behaviors, as she can “remember and callback to actions you’ve taken in a story, be handed and hand you objects, be interrupted credibly and have a hierarchy of emotions toward different objects.”
“Where we’re going is not VR movies anymore. It’s characters who live with us and who we believe in,” said studio co-founder Edward Saatchi, pointing towards the future of character-building.
Fable says all of its future projects will be paid experiences, something they hope will “kickstart a new phase in VR movies of charging for content and seeking to break even.” The studio will charge $1 for every 10 minutes of content, meaning a 20 minute experience would cost $2. Considering how arbitrary pricing seems to most people right now, setting a standard pricing model could give smaller studios incentive to start creating VR narratives.
After Wolves in the Walls, Fable has announced four upcoming projects that will all explore “different elements of VR,” all of which are hand-made in VR using Oculus Quill and other Made in VR tools.
Fable Studio’s Upcoming Projects
A group of artists work together to solve a virtual reality scavenger hunt to recover stolen art.
10 is an illustrative realtime documentary using Quill to explore a real life story.
A social virtual amusement park ride with the theme of sleep anxiety.
Magic River Yacht Club
The viewer follows a giant salmon and its crew up river as they compete in a 500 mile regatta.
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