Facebook has announced that is is acquiring Oculus VR for $2 billion. The deal will see Facebook pay $400 million in cash with the remainder made up of 23.1 million shares of stock valued at $1.6 billion.
“Facebook plans to extend Oculus’ existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas,” the company wrote in a press release, in part. “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,” said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”
“We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways,” added Oculus co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe. “It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning,”
The companies expect to close the deal in the second quarter of this year. Oculus will remain in Irvine, California and continue development on the Oculus Rift.
The Oculus management team has released its own statement, saying: “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. 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.”
“This partnership is one of the most important moments for virtual reality: it gives us the best shot at truly changing the world,” the statement continues. “It opens doors to new opportunities and partnerships, reduces risk on the manufacturing and work capital side, allows us to publish more made-for-VR content, and lets us focus on what we do best: solving hard engineering challenges and delivering the future of VR.”
Following the news of the acquisition, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has revealed in a Twitter post that he has cancelled a deal that would have brought Minecraft to Oculus.
“We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus,” the Twitter post reads. “I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.” Persson has also made a lengthy blog post further explaining why he is parting ways with Oculus.