Saturday 03 December 2016

Facebook Acquires Oculus VR

Facebook announced yesterday that it has acquired Oculus VR, Inc, leading innovators in the world of wearable virtual reality headsets, for approximately $2 billion.  Oculus has taken the gaming world by storm lately, earning over 75,000 orders for development kits for their Oculus Rift VR headset.

In their acquisition announcement, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg stated that “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.”

Oculus VR co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe stated in an official press release:

At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform. But when you consider it more carefully, we’re culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; we believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step.

Most important, Facebook understands the potential for VR. Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate. Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn’t agree more.

Though both Facebook and Oculus VR are confident, the Gaming Community isn’t quite so sure whether this purchase is a good thing for the future of the Oculus Rift.  Zuckerberg has stated that Oculus will continue to focus on games, before moving to “other arenas,” but gamers around the world are not convinced just yet that games will stay on the forefront of Oculus’ business model.  Original backers from Oculus VR’s Kickstarter campaign are demanding refunds, and the lead developer on the popular game Minecraft has announced today that the Rift version has been “officially cancelled.”

Image credit: Sergey Galyonkin

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