Facebook Buys Oculus VR For $2 Billion

3/25/14 9:12PM EST

Facebook Buys Oculus VR For 2 Billion Facebook Buys Oculus VR For $2 Billion

screen shot via YouTube/Oculus VR

If you had $2 billion lying around, what would you buy?

Facebook, which has been buying up a plethora of companies like the recently acquired WhatsApp, just dropped $2 billion on Oculas VR, a leading company in virtual reality technology. The deal is comprised of $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook. There’s an additional $300 million potential earn-out in cash and stock based on “the achievement of certain milestones.”

The acquisition comes on the heels of Oculus showing off its Rift development kit at GDC 2014 to much fanfare. But the acquisition also raises questions as to what exactly Facebook has planned.

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,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post.

Facebook also said that it would be working with Oculus to build out its product and development partnerships to support more games in the near future. After that though, the Facebook/Oculus marriage looks hazy. Now that Oculus is part of Facebook, there are questions of how the virtual reality company will move forward with its intended products.

Oculus inventor Palmer Luckey tried to calm fears about the acquisition on Reddit.

In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity. The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipates,” wrote Luckey in a Reddit post.

The purchase took the technology community by surprise, much like when Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion.

Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Worldwide Studios, tweeted he did not see the announcement coming. Sony is within a week of announcing its own VR headset program codenamed Project Morpheus.

 

 
 

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