Giant Bomb News

752 Comments

Facebook Just Bought Oculus VR

For $2 billion in cash and stock.

No Caption Provided

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 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for lordelkdeer
Posted By LordElkDeer
Avatar image for brackynews
Posted By Brackynews

@lucien21 said:

Kickstarter is VERY clear on the fact you are not investing in the companies you are paying for goods. In the case of the OR you were paying for a development kit that presumably everyone got. They had no stake or say in what happens to the company.

On "paper" sure. But it doesn't pass the hearts-and-minds test of what actually seems to be happening by people who are invested. Most website services and software agreements have a clickwrap that says some combination of "we're not liable, and you can't sue us." This neither stops lawsuits from being brought, or being won. And where laws differ, the agreements become irrelevant.

Eventually, Kickstarter may be the one who has to change their facts to match reality.

Avatar image for hilts
Posted By Hilts

Oh thank god! It was just an April fools gag.

Avatar image for anocturnalwar
Posted By ANocturnalWar

I can totally see why Facebook would buy OVR. I think of it in the same way that I think of Google Glass, another device that if they can integrate into your life as well as your PHONE (you know that thing you hardly ever use?) then that's more ad space, more time social media is in your day to day life, more time connecting with people and ultimately more time spent using your product.

I don't think I'll ever be into this everyday virtual reality craze. I'll try it in like 40 years when the glasses I already have to wear just to see, come with the technology built in.

Avatar image for agentboolen
Posted By agentboolen
No Caption Provided

Avatar image for singingmenstrual
Posted By SingingMenstrual

@csl316 said:

I dunno, looks like it might be fun.

Genius gif

Avatar image for toobz
Posted By TooBz

For me, it's simply that the level of expectation has shifted. Before OR got the benefit of the doubt I took what they said in the best possible light. Now, my expectation is that they will be terrible. They can still prove me wrong, but I think public opinion will be skeptical.

Avatar image for professoress
Edited By ProfessorEss

@csl316 said:

I dunno, looks like it might be fun.

Awesome.

Avatar image for mrwillz
Posted By MrWillz

I never post comments but wow. I was super excited about the potential but now I just don't know.

Avatar image for its_a_secret_to_everybody
Posted By ITS_A_SECRET_TO_EVERYBODY
Avatar image for selbie
Posted By selbie

@selbie said:

Only begun, the goggle wars have

Actually, ended just now have they, my good man! There was supposed to be a war between the courageous Oculus and SONY but Zuckerberg just made Oculus forfeit!

That's fairly presumptuous considering Oculus now has a wad of cash which puts them at the same competitive level as Sony.
Patrick is right, people are unbelievably naive about this acquisition.

Avatar image for gaspower
Posted By GaspoweR

@dagbiker said:

@gaspower said:

@dagbiker said:

Games are dead.

Just when VR might have had a chance, it gets fucked up.

As per the announcement, Oculus will remain autonomous and will still be gaming focused. They're going to be opening up an office in SF so I'm guessing that's where the expanded applications outside of gaming are going to be done while the other offices like the one Dallas with Carmack will still remain the same.

I dont know, Thats what they said about Bioware too.

Well, Bioware is still around and they still have a chance to redeem themselves. I was somewhat disappointed with the last few games but at the very least the worst that could have happened was if they got shuttered altogether.

Avatar image for csl316
Posted By csl316

I dunno, looks like it might be fun.

Avatar image for swisslion
Posted By SwissLion

Phil Fish was riiiiiight.

Avatar image for joe1985
Posted By Joe1985

Why doesn't Facebook buy Pepsi? You know, for no reason, just because they can.

Avatar image for iiijoe3
Posted By iiijoe3

= motion sickness 4 me . . Oh well.

Avatar image for fusionista
Edited By fusionista

We definitely need a poll on this one. Drew, please spin up the poll machine. Please.

Avatar image for dagbiker
Posted By Dagbiker

@gaspower said:

@dagbiker said:

Games are dead.

Just when VR might have had a chance, it gets fucked up.

As per the announcement, Oculus will remain autonomous and will still be gaming focused. They're going to be opening up an office in SF so I'm guessing that's where the expanded applications outside of gaming are going to be done while the other offices like the one Dallas with Carmack will still remain the same.

I dont know, Thats what they said about Bioware too.

Avatar image for cdviking
Edited By cdViking

I don't think people have any idea how large companies actually work. It would make no sense for Facebook to purchase a company and immediately change its focus before allowing it develop an asset with value, and create diverse revenue streams from that asset. Allowing Oculus to finish the Rift in its original conception would end with an asset with insane potential that it could market to hardcore gamers AND use as a platform for social applications.

Let's break it down!

1. Why would Facebook purchase Oculus?: Facebook obviously sees VR as an important part of the future of technology, and sees promise in the technology that Oculus has developed so far.

2. Doesn't that mean Facebook will immediately start stamping their logo on it, ship a half-baked product, and place ads in VR Farmville?: Absolutely not. They don't have anything beyond potential yet. The goal is to create an asset that will eventually produce revenue streams. By purchasing Oculus on friendly terms, they also acquire all of the technical ingenuity that helped develop what they find to be impressive technology. It is in their interest to keep key Oculus team members happy, because, believe it or not, human capital is worth a ton of money.

3. Okay, so Oculus might be able to develop their product independently. Won't Facebook just exploit it to hell once it's finished?: No. It would be stupid to create a high-end consumer product and immediately throw out the vast majority of the public as a potential market by making a social game console. Why do people play Candy Crush Saga and Farmville? Because they're easy to access through devices people already own. Wouldn't it make sense, then, to try and create wide market use before really trying to create revenue streams through "nefarious" advertisements?

4. Isn't Facebook evil?: Facebook is no more evil than Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Valve, or any other major tech company. You don't think EVERY SINGLE ONE of those companies hasn't data mined the hell out of everything you do when you use their services?

It's understandable that gamers dislike Facebook because of its association with social gaming, but it is no different than any other major company: it's after the bottom line, and trying to wring value from an unfinished by rushing and exploiting it isn't something that businesses do. You have to CREATE the value in the asset before you can exploit it. Look at Activision: they create value by pushing a huge, new franchise that they dump hundreds of millions of dollars into, and once that franchise carries value (intangible in the form of name recognition and goodwill, and tangible in the form of assets to lower dev costs in the future), they iterate to hell.

That's what Facebook will try do: create goodwill, cache, and a wide market through a release of a gaming Rift, followed by umpteen trillion iterations aimed at targeted markets.

Avatar image for xyzygy
Posted By xyzygy

Well that was fun while it lasted. I hope MS and Sony VR is good.

Avatar image for yagami
Posted By Yagami

-Checks date...- Not April 1:st yet.

Oculus pre-order: Now canceled.

Also... Shit.

Avatar image for kittyvondoom
Posted By KittyVonDoom

Like.

Wait. I mean Poke.

Avatar image for jesus_phish
Posted By Jesus_Phish

@jedted: I'm not being a smart arse when I say this, but none of that cool stuff is used for gaming and gaming is what most gamers care about. The kinects primary application of being a gaming device is something it falls very short of being good at and nobody really tries to use it as a developer.

So while the OR might get used for some cool projects, most gamers interested in the OR aren't going to care that you can sit court side at a Lakers game but would probably much rather "be" on the Lakers team in NBA 2K16.

Online
Avatar image for singingmenstrual
Posted By SingingMenstrual

Great now my Mom will want an OR.

lmao ditto

Avatar image for strangeling
Posted By strangeling

Ready Player One - welcome to OASIS Facebook.

Online
Avatar image for killaclause
Posted By Killaclause

Great now my Mom will want an OR.

Avatar image for jedted
Edited By Jedted

To everyone saying "RIP Oculus", look at all the cool non-gaming related things done with Kinect. It's like that guy said during the GDC livestream(Phil Fish), the coolest part about Oculus Rift isn't the games but the life altering experiences.

Avatar image for zevvion
Edited By Zevvion

@elitefury: Oh, I understand you.

Yeah, I haven't been following Oculus that well, but I picked up some things here and there and financial security or even logistics didn't seem like one of their strengths. I'm sure since Facebook bought them, they'll throw more money and resources at it to make it good. I'm with you on that. I just hope they won't try to spin the original purpose out of control. A gaming device. At least, not at first. I want to see how it turns out.

Avatar image for itwongo
Edited By Itwongo

I don't know whether to laugh at or get depressed by the comments in this thread.

Avatar image for drgreatjob
Edited By DrGreatJob

Well, I was looking forward to the future of Oculus Rift. Now I understand that this is stupid garbage shit and will never amount to anything good.

I wonder how many Facebook credits this will go for.

Avatar image for adambomb
Posted By AdamBomb
Avatar image for poundkeeper
Edited By Poundkeeper

Ready Player One is one step closer...

Avatar image for jaqen_hghar
Posted By Jaqen_HGhar

@orborborb: Kickstarter exists so that you can donate money to a product in order for it to get a kick start and hopefully be made. Most companies or individuals choose to let the backers get something in return. There is never a guarantee that the product will ever get made, or even get to a prototype state. Oculus Rift got one prototype out there already, with another one on the way. If any backer of the OR feel they have waster their money, it is their own damned fault for not understanding what Kickstarter is.

@csl316: They have denied that already. No plans to rebrand or use a Facebook UI.

Avatar image for aarny91
Posted By Aarny91

This isn't going to end well.

Avatar image for brianp
Posted By BrianP

2 billion can buy you a lot of Jack Tretton, just saying.

Avatar image for elitefury
Posted By elitefury

@zevvion: Ideally Facebook will supply Oculus with money and support giving Oculus the ability to perfect their tech and work more with game developers. In return Facebook gets the rights to the profits, and the ability to spin it off into a separate second device that has nothing to do with gaming.

It is possible that I'm completely wrong but I would rather have a positive outlook on this stituation.

Avatar image for giyn
Posted By GIyn

This could be a chance for Facebook to rebrand itself as something cool and interesting. Or it could completely fail and fall flat on it's face.

The sale by Oculus is a double-edged sword because of the brand name association with the social media website.

Avatar image for killroycantkill
Edited By Killroycantkill

Feels like Facebook is taking the old Disney approach of throw money at things until it makes us a profit.

Also I still am not really excited for the Oculus Rift at all. Don't really understand why so many people are hyped for it.

Avatar image for orborborb
Edited By orborborb

I feel sorry for the suckers who donated money, time, or effort to this scam. It's preposterous to imagine the founders could believe that this idea they were supposedly passionate about has a better chance of success at Facebook. They did it for the money. Which is fine when your backers are compensated, but monumentally unethical in the case of a Kickstarter.

Avatar image for orborborb
Posted By orborborb

I feel sorry for any of the suckers who donated money, time, or effort to this scam. It's preposterous to imagine the founders could believe that this idea they were supposedly passionate about has a better chance of success at Facebook. They did it for the money. Which is fine when your backers are compensated, but monumentally unethical in the case of a Kickstarter.

Avatar image for spraynardtatum
Edited By spraynardtatum

http://tacma.net/

This documentary explains exactly why Facebook is the damn worst.

Avatar image for daggon55
Edited By daggon55

@capt_apparatus said:

Facebook sure likes to sling their stock around in lieu of cash, does anyone else find this a bit disturbing given the rocky start the IPO initially had and for quite some time afterward. I'd love to see the number breakdowns for most of these deals.

Not really, the IPO was a fiasco, but the stock has since stabilized and increased in value, it hit an all time high earlier this month. So for the short term FB stock is about as good as money, better or worse in the long term depending on your outlook for FB as a company.

Avatar image for rockhardalibi
Edited By rockhardalibi

I also feel negatively towards this news.

Avatar image for capt_apparatus
Posted By Capt_Apparatus

Facebook sure likes to sling their stock around in lieu of cash, does anyone else find this a bit disturbing given the rocky start the IPO initially had and for quite some time afterward. I'd love to see the number breakdowns for most of these deals.

Avatar image for jesus_phish
Posted By Jesus_Phish

@lyfeforce: It looks like Razor are set to throw their hat into the game too.

Online
Avatar image for guilherme
Posted By guilherme

sounds like a bad sci-fi book

Avatar image for chet_rippo
Posted By Chet_Rippo

RIP Oculus :(