It has been announced in the last few minutes via Mark Zuckerberg’s official Facebook page, that they have agreed to the acquisition of Oculus VR. Facebook are forever looking to expand the platforms on which its social network is available and are tipping virtual reality as the next big platform. Of course, Facebook needs to be part of it.
It’s being reported that the acquisition is primed to set Facebook back approximately $2 billion. The breakdown is $400 million in cash and 23.1 million Facebook shares valued at $1.6 billion as of today’s closing market valuation. The agreement goes further to include a ratcheted $300 million based on the performance of Oculus VR so the resultant acquisition could cost a lot more or less than the $2 billion.
Facebook are saying that they aren’t wanting to change the direction of Oculus immediately and instead bolster their games development. With the DNA that’s already in place at Oculus, the cash that the acquisition will bring can surely only mean Sony and Microsoft stand next to no chance of catching, let alone overtaking Oculus in the development race. Zuckerberg had this to say about Oculus’ current game development. “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.”
Facebook’s long term plans for Oculus and virtual reality is to create a truly immersive and unlimited communication platform. Facebook’s vision is that you can go and do things for real without actually needing to leave the comfort of your own home, a scary thought. “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.”
Zuckerberg continues to state that he hopes for virtual reality, via the Oculus powered Facebook platform, to become part of daily life for billions around the world. Friends will be able to discover and share new experiences and adventures, all through a set of goggles. “By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
It’s a scary thought to think that before long, people will be living their lives entirely through a computer and Facebook. We’ll bring you full analysis and opinion on what this news means. For the immediate future, it’s great news as the games Oculus will be releasing are sure to be exceptional.
Update – 10:45pm: Minecraft’s Markus “Notch” Persson has just tweeted that he’s pulling Minecraft from Oculus Rift following the company’s acquisition by Facebook. “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal,” the Notch tweeted. “Facebook creeps me out.”