Facebook has announced that it will acquire Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift for USD2 billion. Announced today, the social networking giant will acquire the Oculus VR for USD400 million in cash and 23.1 million in Facebook shares.
"While the applications for virtual reality technology beyond gaming are in their nascent stages, several industries are already experimenting with the technology, and Facebook plans to extend Oculus' existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas." a Facebook press release read. "Given these broad potential applications, virtual reality technology is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform."
In a post to Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the acquisition and reinforced the company's commitment to gaming experiences, and stated that Oculus will continue to operate independently. Facebook will aid the VR innovators in developing new content partnerships. He goes on to note the potential for the platform to expand to "new kinds of experiences" and be leverages as a "new communication platform."
"By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life," Zuckerberg writes. "Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."
Oculus VR founder Palmer Lucky and other leaders posted a statement on the company's blog:
"Facebook understands the potential for VR. Mark and his team share our vision for virtual reality’s potential to transform the way we learn, share, play, and communicate," the post reads. "Facebook is a company that believes that anything is possible with the right group of people, and we couldn’t agree more."Oculus announced the next iteration of its Rift VR headset, the Development Kit 2, at last week's Game Developers Conference, which begins shipping July for USD350.