If there wasn’t already a bit of worrying going on after Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a staggering amount of cash already. Gamers are now adding fuel to that fire after Facebook has announced that it intends to purchase the team behind the Oculus Rift VR Headset.
Big names in the gaming industry such as Markus ‘Notch’ Persson showing open disdain for the buyout of the start-up, going as far as to mention that Minecraft will not be coming to the Oculus 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
The gaming community is certainly airing a feeling of been hard done as well. The Oculus Rift of course was one of the first major Kickstarter successes, smashing its requirement of $250,000 by raising well over $2,000,000 way back in 2012.
One good thing potentially is that because of the Oculus’ popularity, it has spurred other companies to jump in to the market, one such devices is the newly announced Project Morpheus from Sony. Which already has people mentioning that it might be a better device technically than the Oculus Rift.
Who can say how it will now turn out, but after this Facebook and Oculus may have another rift, one that it has to repair.
Full press release below.
MENLO PARK, CALIF. – March 25, 2014 – Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading days preceding March 21, 2014 of $69.35 per share). The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.
Oculus is the leader in immersive virtual reality technology and has already built strong interest among developers, having received more than 75,000 orders for development kits for the company’s virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. While the applications for virtual reality technology beyond gaming are in their nascent stages, several industries are already experimenting with the technology, and Facebook plans to extend Oculus’ existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas. 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,” said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “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.”
Oculus will maintain its headquarters in Irvine, CA, and will continue development of the Oculus Rift, its ground-breaking virtual reality platform.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.