Oculus VR was founded in July 2012 by Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, Nate Mitchell, and Jack McCauley with the goal of building a Virtual Reality Headset--the Oculus Rift.
In August 2012 Oculus VR launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the production of developer prototypes of the Rift, with a goal of $250,000. Rewards included T-shirts, posters and, for those pledging $300 or more, the development prototype and access to the SDK after the first production run.
The kickstarter goal was met, with the total amount pledged almost reaching $2.5 million by roughly 9,500 backers. After the Kickstarter, Oculus VR opened up pre-orders for the same prototype at the same price on their website. Production of the Rift prototype began, with shipping initially estimated to begin in December 2012.
On March 25th 2014, Facebook announced that they would be acquiring Oculus VR for $2 billion in cash and shares of Facebook stock.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
After the announcement, Minecraft creator Markus Perrson announced that he would be cancelling talks with Oculus VR regarding working with them in order to bring Minecraft to the Rift.
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out. — Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014
This acquisition resulted in a number of high-profile Virtual Reality researchers/developers being hired, including John Carmack (formerly of id Software) and Michael Abrash (formerly of Valve). The studio behind Minecraft would go on to be purchased by Microsoft later that year, which is currently working on a Rift-enabled version of the game.