Home Gaming Facebook buying Oculus for $2 billion

Facebook buying Oculus for $2 billion

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Oculus face

Only two years ago, a little company took to Kickstarter asking for $250k to make “the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games”. The Kickstarter raised almost $2.5 million for Oculus, and now they are exceeding funding expectations again. But not all developers are keen on their new owners.

Announced via Facebook (of course), Mark Zuckerberg expressed his dreams for VR for the future:

Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. 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.

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

As strange as the pairing may be, it sort of makes sense. As much as Oculus was an awesome underdog, they probably couldn’t stay that way forever. Sure, Facebook may shift their approach in the uses of the technology towards more social, shared experiences, but the developers at Oculus will be able to advance their development and have plenty of funding.

However, as a result of this buyout, Notch has pulled plans for Minecraft on the Oculus Rift. It started with this tweet:

He then elaborated in this very well written blog post, where he talks about the prospects for VR but criticizes Facebook:

Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.

[…] I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me.

And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition.

I can see where Notch is coming from, and I’m curious what other original Kickstarter backers have to say. However, the Oculus Rift moved far beyond being the scrappy upstart, and it makes sense for them to try to grow. While Facebook may seem like an odd choice, it could mean that in a few years time we share our lives through VR, not just selfies.

I think this will push a lot of developers towards working with Sony on their Project Morpheus. Sure, Zuckerberg says they will start with a focus on games, but if they want to avoid the eventual social implications, I’m sure developers will stick with Sony instead.

Last Updated: March 26, 2014

63 Comments

  1. KingKappie

    March 26, 2014 at 07:54

    all i can say is do facebook want to buy every thing whats next the wii

    Reply

    • CypherGate

      March 26, 2014 at 09:39

      Yeah its crazy. First Whatsapp and now this.

      Reply

  2. Macethy

    March 26, 2014 at 07:55

    Erm…WHAT!?!

    Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      March 26, 2014 at 08:11

      that was my reaction. I mean, it’s fine..whatever..it’s funding and money and all. but it’s just such a strange partnership. boggling.

      Reply

      • iAmWeasel

        March 26, 2014 at 08:20

        I don’t think its such a strange partnership to be honest.. look at what Google are doing with “Glass” for example.

        Reply

        • Axon1988

          March 26, 2014 at 08:32

          What old Mark said in the end of his statement up top made the flip my shit. I mean why use VR for that? Especially VR technology that’s focusing on Gaming. It looks like he is pushing it in a new direction.

          Reply

      • oOqUiS

        March 26, 2014 at 08:35

        I think VR is going to be HUGE success and who ever gets on board first gonna make the most money.

        Reply

      • HvR

        March 26, 2014 at 10:08

        Next Rift dev pack is coming with 50 page T&C you have to accept and somewhere there will the following small print.

        “Any ideas, thoughts and images captured while using the Oculus Rift will become the property of Facebook”

        Reply

    • geelslang

      March 26, 2014 at 10:21

      It is such a dissapointment, the worst possible company bought them. Almost any other company it would have been better. For the kickstarter people that funded this it must feel like such a betrayal. It was suppose to be for games, now its Facebook.

      Reply

    • geelslang

      March 26, 2014 at 10:24

      This is mark reading through all the comments on the internet,,,

      Reply

  3. El Capitan del Blade

    March 26, 2014 at 07:59

    Saw this Last night, All I can say is…. Is your body ready for a totally Immersive Candy Crush Saga?

    Reply

    • JustAnotherGamer

      March 26, 2014 at 09:40

      My body is ready!

      Reply

    • CypherGate

      March 26, 2014 at 09:40

      Ill gouge out my eyes before id even try such immersiveness! Treasures of Montezuma 3 is million times better than Candy Crush.

      Reply

  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 26, 2014 at 08:07

    Are they going to rename it FaceFace?

    Reply

    • Mossel

      March 26, 2014 at 08:17

      And the next one Face2Face

      Reply

    • Umar hearts Grandia

      March 26, 2014 at 08:18

      Faculus Brook?……….

      Reply

    • iAmWeasel

      March 26, 2014 at 08:21

      Face Morpheus

      Reply

  5. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 26, 2014 at 08:09

    WhatsOculusBookAppRiftBook

    Reply

  6. Brenz

    March 26, 2014 at 08:12

    Farmville VR, gonna be amazeballs

    Reply

    • Jonah Cash

      March 26, 2014 at 08:17

      Working in your own fields with your shovel?!?!? Hell yeah sign me up, always wanted to be a farmer……… (OH HELL NO!!!!)

      Reply

  7. Mighty Meh

    March 26, 2014 at 08:12

    Now we get to look forward to a different Oculus every 6 months that no one will like.

    Bring back the old Oculus!

    Reply

  8. Ottokie

    March 26, 2014 at 08:15

    Had high hopes for this, but pretty sure its gonna get no where at Facebook.

    Reply

    • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

      March 26, 2014 at 16:07

      Huh? Facebook has only grown from strength to strength. It’s insanely big now; far more just the social media website.

      Reply

  9. Umar hearts Grandia

    March 26, 2014 at 08:15

    Selfies close to my face….GAH!! Ain’t nobody want to see your Mega Evolution lips

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 26, 2014 at 08:22

      loool

      Reply

  10. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 26, 2014 at 08:18

    I’m obviously not a visionary, because I don’t see the point.

    VR everywhere? No thank you.
    All reporting back to the data farm Facebook? Fuck the hell off.

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      March 26, 2014 at 08:35

      Now that I think about it some more, I’d rather wear this than have VR in my life.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

        March 26, 2014 at 08:44

        You rather be choked and have something force down your throat than have VR?

        Not only #ForeverSP, #ForeverWeird too…

        O_O

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          March 26, 2014 at 08:45

          Yes.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

            March 26, 2014 at 09:26

            Lol, classic

          • Weanerdog

            March 26, 2014 at 14:04

            I have a friend you might hit it off with.

  11. Gareth L (That Guy)

    March 26, 2014 at 08:21

    This is good news though, right? I mean you can now be playing Star Citizen, and then receive, “like” and reply to a WhatsApp message without having to take you headset off.

    I think they’ll change the default “What’s on your mind?” to “What’s on your face?”

    Reply

    • CypherGate

      March 26, 2014 at 09:41

      LOL

      Reply

  12. ZumaIsPoes

    March 26, 2014 at 08:21

    mmmm…. so first they could of downloaded whatsapp for free , now they spend another $2 bill on this , when if they had HAD a plan from the get go , they would of put in the lousy 250k when it first got kickstarted …

    to be honest i am not sure if this makes me nervous scared or happy

    wonder how Facebook shares are doing after this

    Reply

  13. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 26, 2014 at 08:24

    Facebook… Giving off those Microsoft vibes.

    Reply

  14. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 26, 2014 at 08:26

    And yet Notch doesn’t have the same concerns about Xbox and Xbox live. Must be nice to get all self righteous when you have a full bank balance…

    Reply

    • Willem Swanepoel

      March 26, 2014 at 08:27

      But he is also against Windows 8 😉

      Reply

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        March 26, 2014 at 08:36

        What I don’t like about Notch is that he’s inconsistent. The very argument that he’s using against Facebook can be applied against Microsoft as well, hell even Sony too. Any company for that matter. The way he picks and chooses, based on personal prejudice is just ridiculous.

        Reply

        • Willem Swanepoel

          March 26, 2014 at 08:38

          Yeah true but that is the advantage of having enough money in your bank account to do whatever you want.

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            March 26, 2014 at 08:38

            Exactly. He’s the emperor with no clothes on.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          March 26, 2014 at 08:52

          Erm… that’s exactly the way personal choice works. I don’t support EA at all because of their business practices, but Ubisoft is no different really, yet I’ll still get their stuff.

          The same applies to lots of my railing against corporations or democracy. If I was perfectly consistent in all my biases I may as well go curl up somewhere & die.

          Reply

          • Weanerdog

            March 26, 2014 at 14:03

            Ubisoft started the DRM crap, they can stick their games right up their bums. Although the launch on the pirate ship was nice.

  15. Rince

    March 26, 2014 at 08:40

    Mmm. Recently buys whatsapp, now Oculus, whoculus? Erm, More like fokulus.

    Reply

  16. Kromas

    March 26, 2014 at 08:41

    Ive got that damn bandit in my sights *A friend has invited you to a game popup blocks your screen* BANG! you are dead. Thanks Facebook for ruining my dreams of playing DayZ all immersive like.

    Reply

  17. Robert Hart

    March 26, 2014 at 08:41

    And this is why I dont do the whole Kickstarter thing.

    Reply

    • Gareth L (That Guy)

      March 26, 2014 at 08:55

      The “Kickstarter thing” has got some incredible things to exist. It’s a good thing that your attitude isn’t shared by many.

      So many great games are on the way that exist because of Kickstarter. These games wouldn’t exist if their existance was reliant solely on big publishers like EA or Ubisoft.

      When Pillars of Eternity, Torment: Tides of Numenera or, heck, even something like the Veronica Mars movie are out, remember that people like you were against it. 😉

      Reply

      • Robert Hart

        March 26, 2014 at 10:00

        Or when they release as half baked games, or never release at all, remember that people like you were scammed.

        Reply

        • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

          March 26, 2014 at 10:14

          People like me? I haven’t supported anything without checking the credentials of the people behind the project. Fools and their money, right? I hear you.

          There’s obviously that concern, as well as that reality. That’s no reason to disregard the Kickstarter platform though. A LOT of quality titles are on the way, why are you against it altogether?

          Reply

  18. Robert Hart

    March 26, 2014 at 08:44

    In reality, FB is probably just acquiring IP to resell it once it goes big.

    Reply

  19. oVg deprived

    March 26, 2014 at 08:59

    2Billion? Is that not how much a video game makes? Half of that in the first 72hours?

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      March 26, 2014 at 09:33

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        March 26, 2014 at 09:56

        I was going to comment about this and then you had to go and just make it better with this .gif

        Reply

    • CypherGate

      March 26, 2014 at 09:43

      Only specific games hit those numbers. Actually I think its just COD that did. I could be wrong other than GTA5

      Reply

  20. rodtherad

    March 26, 2014 at 09:01

    Facebook like Google enjoy spending money on technologies with short ahelf lives (Motorola mobility anyone?)

    Reply

  21. iAmWeasel

    March 26, 2014 at 09:04

    What I’d like to know is how the hell did Ocullus get valued at $2 billion.. flipping rip off.

    Reply

    • HvR

      March 26, 2014 at 09:24

      Mark: $1billion
      Palmer: $5 billion
      Mark $1.5billion
      Palmer: $3billion
      .
      .
      .
      Markl $2billion
      Plamer: Deal!!

      Reply

      • Macethy

        March 26, 2014 at 09:36

        I can’t be the only one wondering where FB is getting this over $21 billion in the last few months to splurge on acquisitions. I understand that they listed on Wallstreet but they couldn’t have gotten that much. Could they?

        Reply

        • HvR

          March 26, 2014 at 09:55

          They raised about $20billion with the IPO and have a yearly income of around $2billion.

          Also the majority of the payments (like 80% or something) is common shares.

          Reply

  22. DadGamer

    March 26, 2014 at 09:38

    Ever read the book Neuromancer? I think Zuckerberg’s vision is something like that – a virtual reality social space. Gaming will only be a small component of a greater experience.

    Reply

    • Unavengedavo(aka. Bilbo)

      March 26, 2014 at 09:48

      That, or Sword Art Online

      Reply

  23. TiMsTeR1033

    March 26, 2014 at 09:55

    I hope to God, Face book doesn’t screw this up. I mean sure I understand what VR could bring to the world and I am sure many companies will jump on the bandwagon too once it’s taken off and is sold to the public. If you think about it FB wants to have the oculus in their pocket and for a reason..

    Who will show interest in Oculus in near future:

    1. Home entertainment for movies, bringing you into the films like never before.
    2. Porn (yes I said that) For all those people wanting to view it as if they in the movie.
    3. Army to simulate different ranges of events and missions ect.
    4. Medical to practice surgery as if you were really there.

    I could give many other examples, but I think these will give you the general idea why Mark Zuckerberg wants to own Oculus.

    Reply

  24. ToshZA

    March 26, 2014 at 11:41

    As usual most of these comments just jump to conclusions based on who facebook are, not who they could be. I say give them the rope. Either they hang themselves or they climb it and become more than just a social network. Microsoft became more than just an OS maker, and while the Boner isn’t doing amazingly, the Xbox 360 was an amazing piece of hardware.

    Reply

  25. Mark Treloar

    March 26, 2014 at 11:47

    Virtual Farmville

    Reply

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