Alphabet Inc. (GOOG​) subsidiary Google announced the acquisition of virtual reality (VR) game studio Owlchemy last week. At first glance, the acquisition might seem like an astute move, especially given the popularity of Owlchemy's games. But there is a catch. Owlchemy develops games that use hand motion, while Google's only VR product – the Daydream headset – utilizes a remote and has limited motion range. (See also: What is Google Daydream?)

Why, then, did the Mountain View, California-based company acquire Owlchemy? There could be a couple of reasons. (See also: Google Just Acquired an Award-Winning VR Studio.)

First, Google could be broadening its VR offering portfolio. In an interview with The Verge, Relja Markovic, engineering director for Google VR and augmented reality (AR), said that Google had a "pretty big vision" for VR and AR. That vision is not restricted to headsets alone. The company has already released VR apps, such as Tilt Brush, which are popular across multiple VR platforms from HTC Vive to Oculus Rift owned by Facebook, Inc. (FB). In turn, this could help Google earn revenue from several platforms as VR becomes mainstream. (See also: HBO, Netflix Get VR Upgrades.)

Second, the popularity of Owlchemy's games could make a serious contribution to Google's bottom line. In a blog post, Alex Schwartz, Owlchemy's co-founder, assured readers that the company would continue to focus on hand interactions and high-quality user experiences. This suggests that the studio has more funds at its disposal (thanks to Google's acquisition) and the same degree of creative freedom it had earlier.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT​) tried the same strategy earlier with its acquisition of Minecraft maker Mojang in 2014. Much like Google, Microsoft promised creative freedom to Mojang when it was acquired. Per a release last year, Minecraft sold 53,000 editions per day in 2016. The game is also a substantial contributor to revenue from Microsoft's gaming division. (See also: Microsoft to Launch Minecraft Marketplace.)

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