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BBC Earth Partners with Oculus to Deliver a New Perspective on the Natural World

BBC Earth, the world’s leading natural history producer, has announced a new partnership with Oculus to launch three exciting virtual reality experiences, inviting users to step into the lives of very distinct animals.

Users will be able to let their imagination run wild as they are fully immersed into the daily adventures of a Caracal Cat, an Oogpister Beetle and Black Bears. All three virtual reality experiences will be released separately on Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR platforms this January and will be available free to download for the first three months.

This partnership sees BBC Earth shift their storytelling expertise to virtual reality, marking it as BBC Worldwide’s first venture into this area. Ambitions to produce more of these experiences in the future will also complement motivations to offer audiences with new and engaging ways to enjoy BBC Worldwide content.

Photo by Erfan Saadati.

Julia Kenyon, Global Brands Director for BBC Worldwide said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Oculus to give audiences a completely different insight into the natural world. By allowing users to immerse themselves in the environments of these three animals, we are hoping to bring people rich and unforgettable adventures different from any traditional natural history series.’’

Included in the three experiences will be Cat Flight featuring the incredible leap of the Caracal Cat. By integrating cutting-edge computer generated imagery (CGI) into 360-degree video, users will be able to uncover the mystery behind how these extraordinary predators survive in the wild. The ability to freeze the Caracal mid-jump and adjust the zoom in this unique experience will enable users to get up close and personal, and learn about the workings of this animal.

The second experience, Oogie, will be an interactive CGI game featuring the fascinating Oogpister Beetle as it scurries through the African Savannah. Based on real-life footage from BBC Earth, the player will get to take on the form of the beetle and encounter the daily challenges of this unique creature. Fighting for survival in a world where leaves are the size of buildings and tree trunks the size of cranes, users will need to speedily guide the beetle to safety, avoiding hazards, obstacles, and deadly predators.

The third experience, Bear Island, presents an interactive 360-degree video where users will join Black Bears on a journey to the banks of an Alaskan river full of life. Created to let the audience feel as though they are really there, the user will be able to jump between different perspectives and parallel storylines, making full use of the interactivity that VR provides.

Nature fans of all ages will be able to learn about these extraordinary animals in three very different environments. These virtual-firsts from BBC Earth not only allow the user to take a closer look at the animals, but experience what it is like to inhabit their world.