Back in September 2012, a $2.4 million Kickstarter campaign finished to help develop the next wave of immersive gaming in Oculus Rift.  The premise behind Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that puts you deeper into the game than any other headset has ever done before.  Since that Kickstarter campaign news about Oculus has penetrated all of technical media in terms of the development, the nature of the device and what sort of games are going to be able to use it.  I remember a few images of Brian and Anand trying the Crystal Cove prototype at CES this year.

The news today comes as a shock (to me at least) – Facebook has announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR Inc at a $2 billion dollar value.  This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock (~$1.6 billion on last 20 day average).

Oculus will keep their headquarters in Irvine, CA and continue development on the Rift.  With Facebook moving to the help (it is unclear at this point just how much of a role they will play), the focus may shift towards a more social scenario and future for the device, alongside the anticipated action game genre.

The deal is expected to be completed during Q2, and we are awaiting further information as to the depth of the acquisition and how each firm will operate under the new structure.  Facebook should have a lot of money from its IPO in order to help drive Oculus investment, perhaps accelerating the process.

Source: PRNewswire

"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."

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  • DarkXale - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    More likely they were outbid. I'm not sure Valve has billions in pocket money. Reply
  • garadante - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    And here I was really, really looking forward to Occulus Rift... Goodbye interest in it. Hopefully someone else develops a competing hardware. I see nothing but bad in the future now that Facebook is at the helm. Reply
  • superkev72 - Friday, March 28, 2014 - link

    They aren't at the helm dude, read the details of the deal. Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I never bought into the Oculus hype, but it was an interesting device with a lot of promise that I was looking forward to it coming to fruition.

    What I'm really disappointed in is that they'd sell themselves out to an outfit like Facebook when they owe their very existence to funding from the community via Kickstarter. It's something of a betrayal, from my point of view. You know Facebook has no interest in furthering the future of gaming or any other goal other than how they can combine this with their main revenue stream: advertising.

    Sony's VR platform is looking a lot more appealing alluvasudden. Sony's no angel, to be sure, but hey, at least they aren't Facebook.
    Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    No Privacy Matters were raised?
    If Facebook was America 's secret argent to spy on the world, then OculusVR would just be another tools for the job.
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I doubt FB will ever make 2 Billion or the 16 Billion they payed for Whatsapp. This makes 0 sense to me. Tech double 2.0. Reply
  • Yorgos - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    Lucky me I didn't pre-order this thing.
    In a few years we will be total slaves of facebook, apple, microsoft and google.
    I never had/will have a facebook account,
    neither an apple product
    nor a microsoft machine, although I payed for an XP and 7 license,
    and I am stuck with gmail since I have it since it got started.

    That's monopoly, buy everything to eliminate competition and also kill new ideas.
    Reply
  • SeleniumGlow - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    Let's take a minute and think about it from a different angle.
    1) A large number of people with money in their pockets don't do hardcore gaming.
    2) There are more players active in farmville at any given point of time than Steam servers for any one game.
    3) You need money to do research, specially for products that will be an everyday use object in the future.
    Going by these points, I say that this isn't a completly bad move. Oculus needs more money for research. Mr. Zuckerberg has a revolutionary idea for the future of social networking, something that we haven't been able to imagine yet. If it is a win win situation for both companies then it is fine I'd say.

    But I digress, I'm sad and depressed by this news. I wanted unadulterated VR gaming. Now I can imagine pop ups telling me to pay $$ for buying normal/high power ammo to kill opponents. I'd only get free weak ammo otherwise...
    Reply
  • jardows2 - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I have to check my calender. Did I enter a time warp? My calender says it is March 26 today, not April 1? Reply
  • magnusmundus - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - link

    I wanted the Rift to be a PC enthusiast VR device with a gaming focus, not a social media platform. I was looking forward to building a new PC with a GTX 880 once CV1 came out. Now, I worry that the specs on the Rift will suffer with Facebook catering to the masses with low end PCs.

    However, I realize that from a business perspective I'm in the minority, and more users means more money for R&D. As long as the Rift is developed as JUST a VR device that anyone can develop for, without any Facebook DRM garbage (hardware or software), then this might turn out OK. I try to just think of it as a new type of monitor, where the quality of the image and what's displayed will still entirely depend on the user. If that's not the case, then this is very sad news.
    Reply

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