Beat Saber was launched on May 1, 2018, and has since sold over 1 million copies making it the most successful VR game ever. My first interview with the Beat Saber co-founders Jan Ilavsky and Jaroslav Beck was at GDC in March 2018, and I reached out to Beck ahead of the Oculus Quest launch in order to capture a bit of a retrospective for what’s happened over the first year of launch, to hear about the enthusiasm of their Beat Saber community, but also some of the downsides of music piracy within the modding community, how Beat Saber Expert+ tracks ended up being a benchmark for developing the tracking technology for the Quest, and we also talk a bit about the future of music licensing in gaming.
Beck is a musician himself having composed the early access launch tracks, and so he’s really interested in finding ways to help get musicians paid for using their music in their game. On June 10th, 2019, Beat Saber launched another expansion pack featuring an entire album from Imagine Dragons for $12.99, and they’re also showing off a 360 mode at E3 where the blocks are coming at you at different angles. Beat Saber will also likely end up being a lot of people’s first VR gaming experience as the Quest is very portable, and I’ve noticed that I’m hoping into VR a lot more quickly and easily and hear that tetherless VR is making a big impact on how people are using the Quest. Even Beck said that he’s now playing Beat Saber every morning for 10 minutes rather than drinking coffee.
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