Facebook is Buying Oculus VR for $2 Billion - Update 4

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Facebook is Buying Oculus VR for $2 Billion - Update 4

Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 2014 310x

Deal is for $400 million in cash, and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock.

Update 4: This is speculation, without a doubt, but maybe, just maybe, this tweet is referring to some VR-related trick Razer has up its sleeve. Notch certainly seems excited (see replies).

Update 3: Notch has expanded on his Oculus-Minecraft tweet in a blog post. An excerpt:

"I have the greatest respect for the talented engineers and developers at Oculus. It's been a long time since I met a more dedicated and talented group of people. I understand this is purely a business deal, and I'd like to congratulate both Facebook and the Oculus owners. But this is where we part ways."

Update 2: Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey just posted in r/Oculus on Reddit. A snippet from his post:

"In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what's best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated."

Update: In light of Facebook's Oculus acquisition, Mojang's Markus "notch" Persson has announced that his company is no longer pursuing Minecraft for the Oculus Rift.

"We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus," said Persson on Twitter. "I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out."

That's one major title out of the Oculus ecosystem. We'll keep you posted if other devs and publishers follow suit.

Original Story: Facebook just surprised the bejesus out of everyone by announcing its pending acquisition of Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift VR headset.

The deal is for $2 billion, but that could climb to $2.3 billion if certain milestones are hit. $400 million in cash, and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock (about 23.1 million shares) are in the deal, while another $300 million in cash will be paid out for milestone achievement.

Despite the acquisition, nothing changes for Oculus at the moment. It's HQ will remain in Irvine, CA, and work on its Development Kit 2, and the eventual retail release of the Rift, will continue on schedule for now.

"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."

In a post to Facebook, Zuckerberg says his company will help Oculus initially with content partnerships -- getting games on software working on the hardware. "But this is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences," said Zuckerberg. "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."

You can read the press release in it's entirety here.

This is a developing story, and we will update as more news comes in. Check out Escapist News Now's story:

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Whelp, guess I'll be buying whatever Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo has to offer.

Wow. I don't think anybody could have anticipated Facebook of all entities to buy Oculus out. I mean, come on, Valve perhaps, but...Facebook?

And... I just lost every trace of interest I had in Oculus Rift.

I wanted it for gaming, not for social media and advertising. I'm with Shayman, I'll wait for someone else to do it.

Didn't Facebook buy that whatsapp thing for like 20 billion? So some shitty social app is worth ten times more than VR technology?

DasDestroyer:
Didn't Facebook buy that whatsapp thing for like 20 billion? So some shitty social app is worth ten times more than VR technology?

When that shitty social app has hundreds of millions of users? Yes.

I hope I wasnt the only one checking if it was April 1st.

I would say let's wait and see how this turns out.

I am suddenly very, very worried about what will happen to VR.

I can see a multitude of ways this could go wrong, and the one way it could work out well - Oculus VR being left alone to develop the Rift as an open platform for developers - is highly improbable based on what Zuckerberg said.

I really don't think facebook knows what it is doing. Because honestly 2 billion? 2 billion? That is 2,000,000,000 dollars or 2,000 million dollars.

Look I get that Oculus could be big, it could really change the way we consume media today, not just games but even tv shows and such. But it hasn't done any of that what makes it worth 2 billion dollars? This isn't even the first thing they've bought like this recently that just makes me wonder who over there is controlling what facebook does with their money because last I checked facebook is valuable only because a lot of people use it not because they've done a good job monopolizing their users.

Never mind the fact that facebook now owns oculus makes me way less interested in it than I was previously. I can see it being loaded down with features and things I have no need for.

Still 2 billion is stupid.

Congrats to the guys who started the kickstarter for oculus because at this point they are stupid rich with out ever having to actually be successful.

And it's gone.

Adverts literally shoved into your eyes. I'd love them to prove me wrong but I'm just not that optimistic about this.

.... What?

Ok, so I get the image of people talking together in a virtual lounge as one of the only applications that encompasses both parties ideologies but even then, that seems more like skype.

I honestly thought facebook would be trying to heavily tie into the google glass if for no other reason than it advertises better to the average person.

mirage202:
And... I just lost every trace of interest I had in Oculus Rift.

I wanted it for gaming, not for social media and advertising.

You now that a single corporation can handle multiple different brand images and business models at the same time, right?

This is the exact same type of nonsense as when Disney bought Marvel, and suddenly everyone was posting speculations about Mickey Mouse/X-men crossover movies, and about comic book adaptations of princess musicals.

DasDestroyer:
Didn't Facebook buy that whatsapp thing for like 20 billion? So some shitty social app is worth ten times more than VR technology?

If they wanted "VR technology", they could have built their own. The money goes for the brand, not for "the technology". And yes, whatsapp has an about ten times stronger branding than Oculus.

Fantastic news!

Well, for me at least, since my stereoscopic vision kinda sucks and that thing might not ever do anything for me.

Expect many duckfaces wearing silly headsets.

Wha... bu... ju... I don't... WHY?! WHy would FACEBOOK need VIRTUAL REALITY?! WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS?!?!

Holy crap, they really sold out. HOWEVER, I can't say I blame them though. $400 million PLUS $1.6 BILLION in Facebook stock? Each one of them has been completely set up for life. Actually, it sounds like Facebook got the crappy end of the deal. They just ate a massive bullet for some technology that, I bet, they wouldn't even know how to properly use and implement.

And the funny thing is, I bet the Oculus VR team, when they first heard that Facebook wanted to buy them out, they were like, "$2 billion or go home, suckers."

-Dragmire-:
Ok, so I get the image of people talking together in a virtual lounge as one of the only applications that encompasses both parties ideologies but even then, that seems more like skype.

And that alone sounds like the kind of thing that could be the most disruptive communications invention since the telephone. There is a reason why so many sci-fis portray videophones, and holograms, and other forms of virtual presence-communication: Because it's the logical next step.

Skype was relatively obscure compared to that, because you can't really look people in the eye in a webcam, and games like Second Life never really felt like *being there* in a virtual world.

With that one alone, VR would be as universally used as monitors, with one in everyone's room, there is plenty of room to write movies and games and artsy experiences for it as well.

-Dragmire-:

I honestly thought facebook would be trying to heavily tie into the google glass if for no other reason than it advertises better to the average person.

Yes, there is this conventional wisdom about AR being more wholesome and social than VR. If anything, I'm surprised at Facebook for seeing through it.

This is such an April Fools joke. It makes no sense for Facebook to want the Oculus rift.

teqrevisited:
And it's gone.

Adverts literally shoved into your eyes. I'd love them to prove me wrong but I'm just not that optimistic about this.

image

I expected someone would eventually land their hands on something like this, I most likely expected Valve which would further solidify it being completely PC only for the rest of it;s day but Facebook kinda takes the cake.

Honestly I don't see the massive doom and gloom some gamers are seeing from this, that's a shit load of money and stock that would set them up for life along with possible freedom to do so, but since this is the ES and it's gamers reading the news and not your average joe I will assume "rift dead, interest gone" and then when it turns out nothing bad happens they will somehow retract those words.

And there goes that. I honestly can't see Facebook doing right by this thing.

synobal:

Still 2 billion is stupid.

Two billion dollars sounds ridiculous to me, too. I'm pretty sure Facebook could start their own VR research and development for a fraction of that. Unless Oculus VR just had an insane breakthrough in VR, their assets aren't worth that much.

unless this thing does bacon, coffee and sex I have lost all interest in it. There will be a grace period, but they will definatley ensure that your every move will literally be tracked and used for ads, and any other kind if service they can utilize your info for.

It sucks, that they had to sell out, but I understand 2 billion is a lot especially when its on your table.

No, Fuckerberg, I'm not buying an Oculus Rift to chat with my "friends" while playing some casual shit like Farmville! I'm buying an Oculus Rift so that I can finally live with mah anime waifu and never again interact with the 3DPD real world!

I came. I saw. I wasn't disappointed. Shame on all of you. We really are a touchy bunch aren't we when something we've been looking forward too gets bought up by someone we like? Don't like? Does the internet like Facebook? We drop them so fast when they haven't even had a chance to start walking. Stop pre judging things and situations. Wait till the dang things hits shelves then judge all you want. Shame on all of you.

I have no idea why Facebook did this. None at all. It's almost like they went "Shit, people aren't talking about us and we've got money, buy something!" and they threw a dart and hit Oculus.

Can't blame Oculus for taking the offer though, some serious money just for their potential.

Also, this.

image

Just because it makes me laugh.

In retrospect (of nothing), on the other end, the content-generating end, instead of creating 3D content in an artificial environment such as a game, what's probably going to happen with Oculus Rift is:

The ramped up development and consumer proliferation of stereoscopic, 3D cameras. Probably start with webcams first, then perhaps an influence on smartphone cameras somehow.

That's just one aspect though. I imagine that OR could be used for any number of things, including teaching, somehow.

I'm actually slightly optimistic about this now, despite the fact that the Facebook acquisition really shouldn't change anything. Well, it's Facebook at least. No shortage of cash or prestige.

*EDIT*

Hmm, I'm sure those 9,522 backers on Kickstarter are happy they could help make the owners of Oculus Rift 2 billion dollars. I didn't send in any money, but I imagine some of those early "investors" feel ambivalent about this.

"But this is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences," said Zuckerberg. "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."

All of which can be done with a tv, pc, laptop or phone ... Hell, I'd say with the doctor thing saying "I got some dry flaky skin" will be easier with a forward facing camera than it will having 2 tiny tv's strapped to your face!

You know that meme pic of Django? "You had my curiosity. But now you have my attention" Yeah, what's the opposite of that? "You had my apathy. But now you have my disregard"?

I love how it's X amount cash and X amount shares .... remembering what happened to "myspace", that has to be a risky thing to say ok to. Those shares have a perceived value attached to them, which can fluctuate wildly.

Alterego-X:

And that alone sounds like the kind of thing that could be the most disruptive communications invention since the telephone. There is a reason why so many sci-fis portray videophones, and holograms, and other forms of virtual presence-communication: Because it's the logical next step.

Skype was relatively obscure compared to that, because you can't really look people in the eye in a webcam, and games like Second Life never really felt like *being there* in a virtual world.

With that one alone, VR would be as universally used as monitors, with one in everyone's room, there is plenty of room to write movies and games and artsy experiences for it as well.

I don't know about a "logical next step". The situations you are in when speaking on the phone don't really lend themselves very well to visual communication. And while you can't really look someone in the eye while on a webcam... you still can't do that when your face is covered by a huge headset.

Also, sci-fi's portray a hell of a lot of novel technology, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's useful or convenient.

I can't think of anything good that comes of this to be honest. Best case scenario, it has no impact on the Oculus Rift. But that scenario is unlikely. The more likely options are kind of frightening to be honest since they all involve making a piece of hardware I was genuinely interested in worse.

image

Why does it have to be Facecrook? Before this if anyone asked me whether or I not I'll buy the rift I'd say "HELL YEAH!". Now I have to say it's unlikely because they propably force this social network s*** into our faces. I don't want this....

Someone please shoot me. This is a sad day....

Is there any possible way this acquisition would be good for the gamers?

Guys, there's clearly been some terrible mistake made here. April 1st is next Tuesday.

chikusho:

I don't know about a "logical next step". The situations you are in when speaking on the phone don't really lend themselves very well to visual communication.

The situations you are in when speaking on the phone didn't exist before the phone was invented. I'm not talking about the next incremental development INSIDE the technology of phone calls, but the next step that is to telephones what telephones were to snail mail.

Some technologies have an important enough appal that they don't require to conform to your situatiomns, your situations will conform to it.

When the TV was invented, a New York Times writer said that: "The problem with television is that people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn't time for it."

They expected it to be "the next radio", instead of the next big thing after the radio.

chikusho:

Also, sci-fi's portray a hell of a lot of novel technology, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's useful or convenient.

Usefulness is an engineering problem. It's popular perception demonstrates that the demand is there. You re not lacking a jetpack because it looks dorky and awkward, you are lacking one because they never figured out how to efficiently fuel them.

Everyone pull out now. Seriously, fucking... Like someone already said, the only 'good' thing that could possibly happen is that NOTHING happens. HOW IS THAT EVEN REMOTELY USEFUL FOR OCULUS?!

Everyone, get the fuck out of there. Follow Mojang's behavior and do the exact same thing, nothing good can come from the cesspool of mainstream society. Preach all the good facebook can do for you, there's nothing useful that can come out of this deal other than Oculus getting a fuckton of money to reach a wider audience which would likely just lead to the device being cluttered with an App Store equivalency of a lack of quality control.

There is no appropriate response other than this:

Well... I would genuinely be surprised if this was released now, to be honest. They say the plans are not to change the current working goal though, so that is good. The truth is, this was not going to get released to consumers till it was bought out by someone. I was just more hoping it would be someone like Valve. This is actually the first opportunity it has of a consumer release.

Edit: I changed my mind. I hate Facebook, but until it was bought it was not going to come out. This means we may actually see a consumer model in our lifetime instead of ever newer iterations of dev kits.

I almost bought one of these yesterday. Now I don't think I want one so much :(

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