Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg today made a surprise announcement, revealing that Facebook has purchased the Oculus VR, who are developing the Ocolus Rift, the amazing virtual reality headset that’s been impressing developers, media and gamers alike.
Facebook outright bought the company with $400-million in cash, and a further $1.6-billion in Facebook shares. On top of that the deal also includes bonuses if certain milestones are achieved which could total another $300-million.
“Facebook plans to extend Oculus’ existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education, and other areas,” Facebook said in a press release. “Given these broad potential applications, virtual reality technology is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform.”
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Zuckerberg said. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play, and communicate.”
“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,” Oculus said. “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.”
It also seems Zuckerberg has big plans for the Oculus Rift, going on to state:
“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.”
While the possibilities of this deal are immense and could propel the Oculus Rift even further, it’s hard not to be concerned considering Facebook’s many questionable policies. As many already know Facebook is incredibly invasive, tracking its user’s movements across the web, stockpiling personal information and much more. Given public outrage over NSA spying scandals, it’s amazing that people seem happy to access Facebook’s invasion of privacy.
It seems I’m not the only one with these thoughts, and Minecraft developer Notch took to Facebook following the annoucement to declare that he no longer has plans of creating a virtual reality version of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift:
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.
— Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014