Slowly but surely, Google is transforming itself into a formidable VR player. This week, the maker hired Logan Olson, best known as the developer of SoundStage, a well-received HTC Vive title built around a VR music studio sandbox.
First , Google confirmed the hire with TechCrunch, stating, “We’re excited to welcome Logan to the Google VR team. As a leader in thinking about creating in VR with his app Soundstage, we’re really inspired by what he’s built and for the potential for VR and creativity.”
We’re joining !
— SoundStage (@soundstagevr)
Olson will join the ranks of Clay Bavor, who has been fiddling with VR under the Google umbrella since 2013, officially becoming the head of that department in early 2016, as the company looked to shift the department in a more serious direction following the release of Cardboard.
Since then, Google’s VR focus has largely centered around Daydream, an offering more in line with the likes of Samsung’s Gear VR, albeit under a more manufacturer- and device-inclusive model. Though of late, the company doesn’t appear to be too outwardly active on that front.
Olson’s team released the 1.0 version of SoundStage on Steam just last month. The title has been well-received for its innovative application of VR in the music making process.
With Olson on-board, Google will be ending active development on the title, but will keep it around in maintenance mode. Instead, the company plans to use what the developer has built to help bolster existing titles and begin developing some new ones.
Google doesn’t have any specifics to offer up on that front at present, but given the fact that the company picked up the team behind Tilt Brush in 2015, the pieces seem to be falling in place for a VR play that’s focused heavily on creativity and content creation, as opposed to simply gaming.
It’s worth noting, too, that Google’s chief game designer left the company this week, citing plans to explore the, “confluence of games, neuroscience and VR.”