After six years, Google is shutting down Spotlight Stories, its in-house immersive entertainment studio.
Unless you’re an avid virtual reality enthusiast, there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of Google’s attempts at creating 360-degree short films for smartphones.
An email from the studio’s executive producer obtained by The Hollywood Reporter reads, “Google Spotlight Stories is shutting its doors after over six years of making stories and putting them on phones, on screens, in VR, and anywhere else we could get away with it.
My deepest gratitude to all of you.” Meanwhile, Variety also cites a source saying staffers would get the chance to apply to other jobs within Google, and that most artists employed by the studio were contractors hired on a by-project basis.
In 2015, the studio teamed up with Fast and Furious director Justin Lin for a hyperrealistic immersive short film called Help involving aliens invading Los Angeles.
It’s also collaborated on projects for The Simpsons, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, and with Aardman Animation (the studio responsible for Wallace and Gromit).