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Facebook Just Bought Oculus VR

For $2 billion in cash and stock.

Here's one you probably didn't see coming.

Facebook announced today that it is acquiring Oculus VR, creators of the still-in-development Oculus Rift VR headset, for $2 billion in cash and shares of Facebook stock. Go ahead, take a moment to process that. Facebook now owns Oculus Rift.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the company's official press statement. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. "We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it's only just the beginning."

The Oculus Rift has been in development since 2012, following a successful Kickstarter campaign that netted the company nearly $2.5 million in funding. The Rift has only been available in dev kit form thus far, with the final consumer model expected to hit the marketplace in late 2014/early 2015. Most recently, the company retained the services of longtime id Software figurehead John Carmack for the role of chief technology officer.

And now Facebook owns Oculus Rift. Facebook. Anyone else having a hard time parsing this one?

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767 Comments
Posted by ElectricTrotsky

no

Posted by BaconHound

I don't want OR to be social. The whole reason I want it is so I can escape this world without having to kill myself. This is terrible news.

Yeah, this. I'm so sick of hearing about "social experiences" and "connecting people." What a shame.

Posted by john_gannon

Well hey, deciding on the Sony unit just became a bit easier for me now!

Posted by bushpusherr

A lot of people being super reactionary about this right out of the gate...I'm not so cynical. For VR to really take off and make a meaningful leap into mainstream acceptance, it would need to attain a certain critical mass for developing for it to be worthwhile for a broader range of companies. Facebook could potentially be a company that has the level of reach to hasten the acceptance of this tech.

Worst case scenario? Sure they fuck up something promising, or somehow lock off or hinder the ability for games to use it (why would they?). Better case scenario? A massive flood of interest in VR and potentially bringing in a whole new crowd of people trying out games for their new piece of hardware. Color me optimistic.

Posted by Blitz_Kill

Well fuck. Thanks social media and "casual gamers". They all said the wii and casual gaming wouldnt fuck us hardcore fans. Well guess what.....

Posted by Heycalvero

Oh, goddamn.

Posted by RecSpec

@humanity said:

@amyggen said:

John Carmack works for Facebook now.

Thats the best part.

Well, if things go sour he can just buy Id Software.

Posted by RE_Player1

Hope everyone who bought into the Oculus feels good about giving the creators a huge cash out. Seriously if you think any of the core team will still be there in 5 years you are insane. As soon as their contract from this buy out is done they are gone.

Online
Edited by avantegardener

Da fuck...

Edited by makkuwata

You know what's not cool?

D:

Posted by pyrodactyl

@gaftra said:

First thought is that Phil Fish is somewhere losing his shit right now, and that's the reaction I really want to see.

Also I no longer expect this to be a game platform, at least in primary function. Notice that nothing in that statement mentions gaming.

Too bad, at first it seemed like it could have been an Amazon buying Double Helix and the possibility of games diversifying further.

Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate

Posted by jkz

@recspec said:

@humanity said:

@amyggen said:

John Carmack works for Facebook now.

Thats the best part.

Well, if things go sour he can just buy Id Software.

Stop this madness my fragile psyche can't handle this world we live in

Edited by BigD145

This is why we can't have nice things.

Posted by bombedyermom

While at face value it's easy to be cynical about this, Zuckerberg has come out to say his intention is to help Oculus (presumably by throwing bags of money at them), not change their direction.

Quote:

"We're going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.

But this is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home."

This makes me cautiously optimistic.

Edited by Murdoc_

Early April Fools?

Edited by Sanj

If someone told me last year that one day John Carmack would be working for Facebook, I would've told them to GTFO.

That said, if anyone tells me now that Facebook owning Oculus will ultimately pay-off and be the best thing that could possibly happen to VR, I would also be inclined to tell them "GTFO".

So it just goes to show that we can't predict the future. I'll wait and see, I guess?

Edited by Fluttercry

Jesus...why? I have zero faith in Facebook to not fuck this up. Please Carmack...

Edited by TadThuggish

Posted by Snail

These news need to stop happening on Tuesdays.

Posted by Excast

Did people kickstart a company so that they could sell and make big money? This seems awful. Almost like the kickstarter was just to fund the initial operation while they looked for venture capital and a way to sell and make big money. Are we going to see the heads leave in 2 years and go start a new company to sell using other peoples money again?

I know its very common in the tech world, far too common, but the involvement of Kickstarter to start it all off just seems rotten.

And that is the real story here.

Was Occulus ever about delivering a product to market or was it about hyping the possibility of a technology and then cashing out while the getting was good?

Posted by WurmHat

Five comments about Farmville in 20 minutes...This news is the fucking worst.

Posted by AngriGhandi

What kind of person do you have to be to think that people strapping on helmets to completely block out the outside world is "the most social platform ever?"

Did they accidentally leave the "anti-" off the beginning of that word?

"Now, with 110 degrees of vision, you can look at more pictures of the people you never see in person anymore than ever before! And look at all these fucking ads! IT'S FRIENDSHIP 3.0!!"

Edited by wrecks

Edited by tourgen

In a sweaty, desperate big-money play to stay relevant while hemorrhaging core users, Facebook skulked up behind the fledgling VR industry and fucking knifed it in the back, UH UH UH UH UH.

"We are going to leverage our deep understanding of, uh, PHP, and uh, backend databases and sweet-ass NSA deals to make VR magical". When pressed later Mike-Z clarified, "WE ARE GOING TO PUT FARMVILLE ON THAT SHIT SON ! YEeeeah!"

For the record I believe it was 400mil real cash and 1.2 billion "worth" of facebook toilet paper.

Posted by Humanity

@jkz said:

@recspec said:

@humanity said:

@amyggen said:

John Carmack works for Facebook now.

Thats the best part.

Well, if things go sour he can just buy Id Software.

Stop this madness my fragile psyche can't handle this world we live in

Carmack has almost nothing to do with the Id software of today so it's not a big deal.

Posted by NoodleUnit

Mother of Satan...

Edited by BabyChooChoo

I don't know whether this is a good or bad thing. My kneejerk reaction is "omg noez, big evil corporation" blah blah blah, but I mean...there has to be some upsides right? Facebook has a lot of partners and like...other business shit that can only help push the Occulus forward right?

Either way, I'm still not entirely sold on this whole "VR is the future!" idea so whatever I guess...

Posted by dagas

Soon everything in the world will be owned by Facebook, Google or Apple. That is a lot of money. I bet the people who sold are pretty happy right now. From 2 million to 2 billion in a few years, that is pretty amazing. It is pretty amazing how much money these companies have to throw around billions buying Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus.

Edited by CatsAkimbo

What the fuck. There is nothing about Facebook that I want associated with Oculus. If I'm going to buy this, now I need all the assurances that I can use it without ever once seeing something Facebook related on it.

Posted by Roboculus92

A lot of people being super reactionary about this right out of the gate...I'm not so cynical. For VR to really take off and make a meaningful leap into mainstream acceptance, it would need to attain a certain critical mass for developing for it to be worthwhile for a broader range of companies. Facebook could potentially be a company that has the level of reach to hasten the acceptance of this tech.

Worst case scenario? Sure they fuck up something promising, or somehow lock off or hinder the ability for games to use it (why would they?). Better case scenario? A massive flood of interest in VR and potentially bringing in a whole new crowd of people trying out games for their new piece of hardware. Color me optimistic.

This guy has the right idea.

Posted by GoGreenRanger

WTF!

Posted by Milkman

@wrecks: Goddamn, the internet works fast.

Posted by daggon55

Interesting. Facebook has been spending money lately trying to diversify, but this is definitely not something I would have thought they were looking at.

I guess it all comes down to the what the deal they made actually is, but Oculus now has access to a lot more resources than they did before. Hopefully they can put that to use and Facebook is serious about supporting what they are trying to do.

Edited by Abendlaender

And just like that, all my excitement is gone

Posted by RupertTheBear

First Disney buys Marvel, now Facebook buys Oculus Rift?!?!

Hopefully the people at Oculus are the ones who call the shots

Edited by gaftra

A lot of people being super reactionary about this right out of the gate...I'm not so cynical. For VR to really take off and make a meaningful leap into mainstream acceptance, it would need to attain a certain critical mass for developing for it to be worthwhile for a broader range of companies. Facebook could potentially be a company that has the level of reach to hasten the acceptance of this tech.

Worst case scenario? Sure they fuck up something promising, or somehow lock off or hinder the ability for games to use it (why would they?). Better case scenario? A massive flood of interest in VR and potentially bringing in a whole new crowd of people trying out games for their new piece of hardware. Color me optimistic.

I'd like to be positive about this too from a gaming perspective. However, this doesn't seem like Facebook moving into the gaming world but rather Oculus moving out of it.

Nothing in that statement acknowledges games or even includes the word game. They use social connections, and ambiguous terms like platform for communication.

Oculus isn't a gaming platform unto itself so would Facebook then be a middleware hardware manufacturer? That seems doubtful, more likely they would sell it as some kind of multimedia device.

All wild speculation, but nothing about it seems to bode well for dedicated game production.

Posted by Winternet

I... humm.. I think I need to lay down a bit.

Posted by WSGEXE

They're going to have to rerecord the podcast news section now.

Posted by Monkeyman04

@wrecks said:

That is so funny! Made me hack up a lung I was laughing so much. XD

Online
Posted by AleksO

Well thank god valve is working on some vr stuff. Im pretty sure they arent going to sell out ot facebook

Edited by Whiskeyjack

I think everyone else has summarized it pretty well...

"Wait.. What?"

I'm happy their funding is secure now, I guess.

Posted by InternetDetective

They will make it another delivery method for Facebook. Want to escape into a virtual world? Well your cousin that won't stop posting status updates about his band is coming with you.

Or maybe you get your unit cheaper because it will be full of ads.

I am reactioning for sure bro.

A lot of people being super reactionary about this right out of the gate...I'm not so cynical. For VR to really take off and make a meaningful leap into mainstream acceptance, it would need to attain a certain critical mass for developing for it to be worthwhile for a broader range of companies. Facebook could potentially be a company that has the level of reach to hasten the acceptance of this tech.

Worst case scenario? Sure they fuck up something promising, or somehow lock off or hinder the ability for games to use it (why would they?). Better case scenario? A massive flood of interest in VR and potentially bringing in a whole new crowd of people trying out games for their new piece of hardware. Color me optimistic.

Posted by GrumpyBob

This makes me really frustrated. Hopefully the guys can quell those feelings in the cast tonight... MAN THIS FUCKING SUCKS.

Posted by Cogzwell

more odd than anything. I can't really process how facebook could facebookify the rift. Maybe it's more just for the sake of owning Rift than changing Rift into something else.

Posted by Giganteus

A lot of people being super reactionary about this right out of the gate...I'm not so cynical. For VR to really take off and make a meaningful leap into mainstream acceptance, it would need to attain a certain critical mass for developing for it to be worthwhile for a broader range of companies. Facebook could potentially be a company that has the level of reach to hasten the acceptance of this tech.

Worst case scenario? Sure they fuck up something promising, or somehow lock off or hinder the ability for games to use it (why would they?). Better case scenario? A massive flood of interest in VR and potentially bringing in a whole new crowd of people trying out games for their new piece of hardware. Color me optimistic.

Yes, this is what I'm hopeful for. We shall see. Though I won't lie, they're now owned by a publicly held company with shareholders and no longer a private thing, and that should probably worry you. Either way, definitely didn't see this coming.

Posted by metalsnakezero

This could either go good or bad. Good in that it'll get large backing, increase quality, and faster release. Bad in that Facebook would not care for the games that we would want and be too in to the social aspect of the whole thing. Because we never seen facebook having a interest in games until recently we don't know if they really do care about it as much as Amazon or some other social systems. Hopefully they are looking into it and not making this cool system in some over done social experience. Otherwise, Project Morpheus will just sweep the VR scene.

Posted by phatcat

Next week is April first. :x

Edited by theMuse

Posted by soulcake

Barf ! I rather see McDonalds buy up Oculus then freaking facebook.

Posted by dmr

Disgusting.