After news emerged that Facebook’s next major tech acquisition would be the popular company Oculus VR (Virtual Reality), John Carmack, the companies Chief Technology Officer, became a trend.
Here is what you need to know about this tech guru and the latest story that brought him into the spotlight:
1. Carmack is Legendary Game Designer
Carmack became a notable game developer and programmer as early as 1989 and quickly rose to prominence in the 1990s as a programmer on the decade’s most popular first person shooter games. Carmack worked on major franchises like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake, and worked on games like Doom 4 as recently as 2014.
2. He Joined Oculus VR in 2013
In 2013, Carmack left his longtime job at id Software to work full-time as the CTO of Oculus. Oculus is the first practical virtual reality head ware that allows players to feel as if they are actually inside the world of the game they are playing. Above you can see a very entertaining review of a player going through one of Oculus’s many horror games.
3. Oculus is Being Purchased By Facebook for $2 Billion
On Tuesday it was announced that Facebook would acquire the popular and innovative Oculus for around $2 billion. Business Insider reports that the deal will include $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock, valued currently at around $23.1 million.
4. Facebook Released a Statement on the Purchase
Today in a statement, Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition of Oculus in the full statement below:
I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.
Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.
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.
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.
Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.
5. Oculus Fans Are Not Happy
/r/Oculus is not very stoked about about the Facebook acquisition. pic.twitter.com/4SCoSYciGH
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) March 25, 2014
Oculus was not tied up with any individual platform like Xbox or Playstation, and for that reason it became a favorite of programers who liked the open and free nature of it. Shortly after the announcement was made, the Oculus subreddit was filled with people furious that the acquisition would limit the freedom programers had to experiment in creating new realities. You can read all their comments here.