1. Facebook Paid $2 Billion for Oculus VR
TechCrunch reports that Facebook paid $2 billion in cash and stock to acquire Oculus VR. It appears that the deal consisted of $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock.
2. Facebook Wants Oculus For More Than Games
In a statement released on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg explains his vision for the future of the Oculus Technology…and it’s about more than just gaming.
“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.”
3. Nobody Saw the Facebook-Oculus Deal Coming
The video above shows a gamer playing the Oculus Rift title Terrorift.
The acquisition of Oculus seems to have taken most of the tech world by surprise. The Verge writes that “The acquisition of Oculus seemingly comes out of nowhere: the company just demoed its most recent version of the Oculus Rift development kit at GDC 2014 to much fanfare.”
In fact, one person who really seemed surprised by the Facebook-Oculus deal was Minecraft creator Markus Persson (aka Notch). Apparently, Notch was working on an Oculus Rift version of Minecraft, but has now cancelled the project because “Facebook creeps [him] out.“
This “surprise buy” of Oculus has some tech fans wondering what other companies Facebook might be secretly moving to buy out next. Apparently, Facebook is capable of moving fast on these types of deals. TechCrunch reports that the Oculus deal took just 5 days to negotiate.
4. Post-Deal, It’s Business as Usual For Oculus
Look at all the negative comments on the Oculus blog post…posted from the FB comment system. http://t.co/JPbcY8SHUf
— Selena Larson (@selenalarson) March 25, 2014
Business Insider reports that very little will change around Oculus VR headquarters.
“Oculus will maintain its headquarters in Irvine, CA, and will continue development of the Oculus Rift, its ground-breaking virtual reality platform.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.”
5. Oculus Rift Purchase Might Be Ad-Driven
People want a lot of different things out of Oculus, and maybe FB owning them prevents some of those, but it could make VR ubiquitous.
— Ben Kane (@benkane) March 25, 2014
Some tech reporters were surprised by Facebook’s purchase of Oculus, but the Atlantic makes a good argument for why the social networking site would want to invest in VR.
The Atlantic argues:
“In a world where smartphone sales growth is going to level off soon, where social networking growth has already slowed, where everyone already uses Google … where do companies go to continue the revenue growth that is baked into their current share prices?
…Who hasn’t imagined that TV needed to be reimagined, with content discovery occurring outside the current channel structure?
Today’s technology companies have lots and lots of cash. What better way to spend it than insulating themselves against possible disruptive technologies down the line?”
In other words, Facebook might be counting on VR helmets to become yet another advertising revenue stream for the company. Hey, Sony’s Project Morpheus can’t have all the fun, right?
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