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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?

Alex Navarro on Google+
767 Comments
Edited by AndrewB

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

Okay... I could see Facebook tossing large sums of money around at already established companies just because they can and because the direction those companies are headed were already great, but this one line fills me with dread and makes me immediately want to seek alternative startups in the VR arena. Social has nothing to do with immersing myself in a virtual world of infinite possibilities.

Posted by wohlf

God fucking damn it....

Posted by MxMark

No, this has to be a 1st of april joke?! This would be horible..

Edited by Sanj

@excast said:

@kid_gloves said:

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?

Oculus were only able to hype their product because they were able to deliver. You can checkout a ton of third-party impressions regarding their numerous prototypes all over the web. They're not playing around.

Edited by hollitz

Crockulus Shit

Edited by Efesell

Hm.

Well, not jumping for joy here but preemptively screaming that the sky is falling is silly too. See what happens, I guess.

Posted by Lingxor

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by mao16

This could be really good with Facebook's mass market exposure... who am I kidding this is probably going to end terribly.

Posted by FizzyJmo

Yikes!!! I just went from eager to weary.

Posted by BBQBram

I don't know if this is the worst news ever or the beginning of the cyberpunk era...either way humanity is SCREWED. Phil Phish was RIGHT!

Edited by Illuminosopher

@sil3n7 said:

It doesn't make alot of sense from a strategic standpoint but from a pure business one, its easy to see that Oculus is going places.

Smart move I guess.

Pretty much this. I know that everyone is thinking about the worse-case scenarios that could result from this but at the very least this can help bring exposure to the whole virtual reality thing.

Bring it into the light to shoot it in the face ... that's twisted your twisted I mean shooting it in the face is bad enough but to do it in the light ... your a sick person.

Posted by Seikenfreak

sigh..

I don't have a facebook, I don't want a facebook, I don't want to associate at all with facebook, and every time I see a facebook icon on a webpage or TV I am annoyed.

This sucks.

Online
Posted by JeremyKO

Nothing says mobile like strapping an opaque, tethered virtual reality device to your face.

Posted by Random45

@pause422 said:

While jumping to immediate conclusions that this will affect things in a bad way is rather silly, I still don't sit well with it. Even just the idea of Oculus doing its own thing was better sounding to me than being ruled by some big company. Then of course there's the fact that its Facebook....

This is my opinion too.

It just really bothers me. I know they'll be smart about it, but as someone else said, having a company that believes that mobile games are the future getting their hands on the Oculus Rift worries me.

Posted by Oddballs

I honestly thought this was a joke when I first read it.

Posted by ColdSzlaw

I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing (the resources available to Oculus just increased significantly as well as the potential audience for VR), but it is totally unexpected. It seems too early to be super bummed out by this, until evidence appears to the contrary.

Edited by InternetDetective

@efesell said:

Hm.

Well, not jumping for joy here but preemptively screaming that the sky is falling is silly too. See what happens, I guess.

They wouldn't buy the thing if they didn't see it as a way to further their ad-revenue based business model.

Posted by Abendlaender

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

If somebody pays you 2 Billion, you don't get to call anything anymore. Despite what the marketing teams will tell us.

Online
Edited by Shtinky

Looks like I'm a Sony Morpheus fanboy then.

Posted by smiddy

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

"We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways..."

Why does that word send shivers down my spine? Can any good come of this? It feels like Oculus just sold it's soul to the Devil.

Posted by JermainJuniorMartinez

wow was oculus a private company? I wonder how answering to shareholders will affect development?

Edited by CaLe

Posted by RecSpec

@rupertthebear said:

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

If somebody pays you 2 Billion, you don't get to call anything anymore. Despite what the marketing teams will tell us.

Oculus valued at a little over 10% of a Whatsapp

Posted by mooncake

I think this is the vanguard of the future, where the Matrix is going to become reality.

Edited by Bismarck

I was really interested in buying the final product, but with this news my excitement is gone.

Edited by alibson

Edited by TatsurouXIII

I was so excited for the Oculus Rift. It's all gone after reading this. They're gonna turn it into some social bullshit.

Posted by TheRookie727

@bushpusherr: you know what, I hope you're right but man I just feel deflated right now.

Online
Posted by Nicholas

I do not approve. I do not. I guess I should be happy for the Oculus folks. I am.

Yeah...

Edited by AMyggen
Edited by OllyOxenFree

Wait... What?

Posted by Bismarck

I was really interested in buying the final product, but with this news my excitement is gone.

Edited by PimblyCharles

@soulcake said:

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

If Burger King bought Oculus, then we'd might have had a chance of getting a VR Sneak King

Posted by GERALTITUDE

er...

Well, we'll see what comes of this. At least Oculus has mad dough to throw around.

But hold on a second.

Sorry, my head hurts.

Facebook bought Oculus?

Do they suppose our grandmas are going to strap on a rift to better see their grandkids? What's the social hook on this thing? We need like 10 years at least to turn Oculus Rift into Oculus Glasses so what's the payout in the next 5 years?

I do remember FB saying they wanted to make real games once upon a time, so maybe this is all connected. OR maybe FB becomes a bigger games publisher and wields Oculus like a closed hardware platform. But that sounds like a money sink.

So I dunno! Cool! Great! What?

Edited by itsmadness
Posted by JesterPC238

So about that Morpheus thing...

Posted by ripelivejam

this is the end of dog racing (in VR)

Online
Posted by lanerobertlane

here's my two cents into what happens from here:

the Internet goes crazy at the idea thinking its gonna be full of data mining, ad-serving, social sharing candy farm saga ville games. Sony's project Morpheus gets lots of support from fans in the same spirit as the #ps4noDRM 'for the players' hype.

After the PR damage is done, Facebook tries to stress that "hey this team is still the same team building the same project you already wanted" and although releasing as a competent device, the damage from Internet shitstorm and pissed off kickstarter backers means that 'core-gamers' and reddit reader types will slate it. despite it being quite successful in the COD playing, candy crushing mainstream.

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.

Posted by EuanDewar

I feel alright about this.

Posted by Bummey

Uh oh.

Posted by DeadpanCakes

...Woah..

Posted by ReCkLeSs_X

This could be a VERY good thing in terms of the funding, but a VERY bad thing in terms of utilization.

Posted by Brendan

It's in situations like these that I feel completely outside the gaming nerd community. I don't use FB heavily but the hate (and love for Twitter) has always been a weird nerd-specific thing that I've just never understood.

Posted by TyCobb

This is fucking bullshit. I was so excited for it. Now... I guess watch it turn to a pile of crap?

Edited by xite

What?

Online
Posted by Abendlaender
@shtinky said:

Looks like I'm a Sony Morpheus fanboy then.

I guess. But I was really looking forward to all the weird stuff people will do with OR on PC

Online
Posted by Sarumarine

@soulcake said:

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

If Burger King bought Oculus, then we'd might have a chance of getting a VR Sneak King

I am on board with this alternate timeline where Burger King bought Oculus. VR Sneak King sounds rad. Haha.

Posted by super2j

WHaaaaaa?!?! @beaudacious This is good because more money for Oculus but also bad because facebook. As long as Facebook lets it be its own thing, then this will be good but if they announce the "facebook virtual reality mobile gameset"... then I guess Sony is our only hope.

Posted by PimblyCharles