Owlchemy Labs, the games industry’s biggest VR success story, is going through some major changes as CEO Alex Schwartz and studio director Cy Wise leave to co-found a new studio. Having created major VR hits Job Simulator and Rick And Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, Owlchemy Labs is one of the leading development studios in the virtual reality space. Something that was cemented in 2017 with the acquisition of the company by Google. Those remaining will continue to push the envelope of VR games, starting with its upcoming sequel to Job Simulator, Vacation Simulator.
Leading the studio into the future is previous CTO, Devin Reimer, who is taking the reins as CEO (the O stands for Owl, obviously), with Andrew Eiche moving up into the CTO role and Autumn Taylor entering the studio director role.
“It’s a very exciting time at Owlchemy Labs, and the virtual reality industry as a whole,” Devin Reimer said. “It makes me incredibly happy to continue my work in this new role as CEOwl, and I’m committed to ensuring that the studio continues to push the boundaries in terms of innovation and experimentation with the games we create.”
Alex Schwartz and Cy Wise, meanwhile, will be co-founding a new studio, after a well-earned holiday. Details are thin on the ground, but Schwartz seems very excited to return to his “scrappy startup” roots. His blog post gives a brief history of his experience turning a garage band into a festival-headlining Google acquisition.
“For me, creating a company that was building innovative products while sustaining itself over the long term was always the goal,” Schwartz said. “Taking a leap to try to make something out of nothing engages me, inspires me, and invigorates me, occasionally to the point that it takes over my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Much like the leaps I took to get Owlchemy off the ground, I’m returning to this area of uncertainty and uncharted grounds to build something new.
“You might ask “well, what is the new company?!” I’m super thrilled and absurdly excited about my next adventure but I’m not quite ready to share all of the details quite yet. But before starting on my new thing, I’ll be finally taking some actual time off (thanks Patrick Curry for the advisor/uncle-like suggestion!) and doing some traveling before jumping back in.
“To new adventures and new beginnings! I can’t wait.”