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Facebook buys Oculus for $2 billion in cash and shares

Well here's a headline I didn't think I would be writing this morning. Facebook has purchased Oculus Rift developer Oculus VR for around $2 billion in cash and shares.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the news today via Facebook, which includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million Facebook shares, valued at $1.6 billion. If the company reaches set milestones it'll also get another $300 million in cash and shares.

"Facebook plans to extend Oculus' existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education, and other areas," Facebook said in its statement. "Given these broad potential applications, virtual reality technology is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," Zuckerberg said. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play, and communicate."

Oculus also released its on statement on the matter, saying, "At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform.

"But when you consider it more carefully, we're culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; we believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step.

"Most important, Facebook understands the potential for VR. Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate. Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn't agree more."

Oculus said in the next 10 years virtual reality will become "ubiquitous, affordable, and transformative."

One person that doesn't seem happy with this news is Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, who says he has cancelled plans to implement Oculus Rift support, following Facebook’s acquisition.

“Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.

“I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me.”

So what do you think?

Edited On 26 Mar, 2014

( 2 )
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 3 years ago
Can't wait to play Farmville in blurry virtual reality. But seriously. Had a go on the Oculus a few weeks back and wasn't impressed, so Facebook can have it for all I care.
Apnomis's avatar
Apnomis 3 years ago
For some reason reading this story made me think about wondering around PlayStation Home in first person using their Project Morpheus headset. Maybe that is where Facebook is thinking social media is heading too... Within my lifetime the concept of Skyping with friends and relations abroad will be replaced by putting on a headset and virtually appearing in a room with them... You'll have someone from England meeting up with a relation from Canada at a little virtual coffee shop near the Eiffel Tower in Paris - it's a pretty exciting concept when you think about it beyond just gaming...

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