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Facebook to acquire Oculus for $2 billion
Facebook to acquire Oculus for $2 billion
March 25, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

March 25, 2014 | By Christian Nutt
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"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow, Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

Those are the words of Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg on the announcement that the company has entered into an agreement to acquire VR company Oculus for $2 billion -- $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock. There is also an earn-out potential of $300 million in cash and stock based on "the achievement of certain milestones."

"We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning," Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR, said in a statement released by Facebook.

Oculus will continue to be headquartered in Southern California, in Irvine. Facebook is headquartered in Menlo Park, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The acquisition of the VR company by the social networking giant is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

The companies are planning to hold a conference call today to discuss this announcement, and Gamasutra will report on details that emerge later today.


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Comments


Arash Sammander
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Could someone please reassure me that some good will come out of this? I'm not seeing it.

Greg Quinn
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Cmon, Farmville in Virtual Reality?? What's not to like??

Kenneth Blaney
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Oculus VR itself will still be able to function more or less autonomously but the risk or ruin is mitigated by the relative stability of Facebook.

Greg Scheel
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I have to disagree, the accumilation of power in the hands of the few is always a bad thing. Oculus sold out, and the utility of the platform is now utterly ruined.

Kenneth Blaney
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He said "some good", not necessarily "net good".

Marvin Papin
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Hey, since Zucherberg is rich, maybe he is a video game aficionado and has a deep interest in that tech. Or maybe he is just ready to bet much money in the succes of Oculus VR.

Since I do not see how Facebook can use that tech, I hope they'll just take the benefits and let go.

Shea Rutsatz
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Now we can socialize with our friends, as if we're right there!

But seriously, isn't this weird?

Nathan Mates
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My first thought was "168 hours too early for this to be announced"

Marvin Papin
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Happy to see that the april fish goes beyond our borders. :)

Daniel Camus
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Why? This makes no sense at all, now John Carmack will make bucks for FB? who thought of that? . Thank you FB for ruin one of the best projects to date, now the Oculus Rift staff must follow the FB agenda, they are not free anymore.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Daniel Camus
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Yes, sure, money can move everything, but why FB? why bought it instead of doing a partnership? If were Valve or Google, that would make sense to me, they are working on hardware and mobile space, but FB? A company full of spam and advertisement? The target of Oculus was the pc Gamers and why not, the developers as well, now you might expect to receive ads while playing your game.

Tuomas Pirinen
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I hope the Occulus Kickstarter backers will get a share. It would be fair.

Kenneth Blaney
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Unfortunately, ownership of the company cannot be awarded in a Kickstarter.

Maria Jayne
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"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

I didn't think it was possible to kill that much hope in one sentence but...I was wrong.

David Klingler
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I used to like Oculus... then I took a facebook to the knee.

Karl E
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WTF?

Marvin Papin
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Facebook stocks are not worth it. And the potential of the company is big. Still some years and 2b$ could be nothing.

But somebody of gamasutra probably missed 1st april. (Hey oh that's next week)

Or, to oculus head : "Sell, refund a company with all actual company and devs will follow you..." :))

Marvin Papin
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EDIT : apparently they did it ?!?! :S

Karl E
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Someone please tell Zuckerberg that we don't actually live in virtual reality yet. The money he's spending is real money not virtual currency.

Roberto Dillon
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But most of the payment is via FB shares, which may very well be "virtual" in a few years...

Nooh Ha
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"Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

Hear that? It's the sound of core PC gamers weeping the world over...

Daniel Camus
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I was about to order the Dev Kit v2 this week, sorry but I rather save that money.

Jason Ettles
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Facebook buys Oculus, Disney buys Maker Studios, this feels like the beginning of a strange and disturbing trend. One in which all of the creative forces that drive independants to succeed are being absorbed into a single homogenous corporate entity.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Jennis Kartens
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Hahahaha, I was about to say the same. In one post. On another forum :D

This week turns out to be very akward overall

Ian Morrison
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If I'd heard this a week ago I wouldn't have been so excited to preorder a DK2. This feels like a huge kick in the gut. What the hell, Oculus?

Greg Scheel
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Cancel your order, if it arrives, send it back and reverse the charges.

Ian Morrison
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I'm not taking that option off the table. I'm also not going to act prematurely here. I'm going to be keeping a VERY close eye on how this develops over the next few days.

There are a few optimistic viewpoints and interpretations of the situation. Some of them might even be true. They've got a short window of time to convince me of that fact before all the enthusiasm I've been building up for their product is gone for good.

Seriously, that first gut reaction was somewhere between walking up a set of stairs and thinking there's one more step that isn't there, and complete dumbfounded inability to process. Oculus has a PR disaster on their hands and it's going to be fascinating to see how they address it, as well as whether or not I'll have any goodwill left for them by the end of it.

Marvin Papin
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Yes, i'll wait too. But will keep my preorder. Even if it fails, having the possibility to use and experiment this tech is an opportunity.

Michael G
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Weren't Oculus already creating partnerships with game industry leaders. I don't see how this is anything other than cashing in. $1.6 Billion in Facebook shares is going to help VR development?

Karl E
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The oculus reddit is really something right now.

Palmer Luckey made a post himself

http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/21cy9n/the_future_of_vr/

Gord Cooper
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The instantaneous and self-righteous negativity in this thread is unsurprising, but also really very sad. In lieu of looking towards what could happen with limitless resources for a project everyone was super excited about, now it's gloom and doom based on assumptions.

Michael G
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From a company that does everything it possibly can to monetise its service while improving as little as possible, what exactly do you see Facebook contributing here besides tighter deadlines, cheaper materials and new versions every year?
I'll have every confidence in this deal when we see a shred of evidence that Facebook has any interest at all in maintaining quality over profit.

Ron Dippold
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If, say, Gamestop or SoftBank or Zenimax, or even Microsoft bought Oculus I think everyone would be a little taken aback and cautiously wary, but you could see some possible benefits.

But it's hard to see any way in which the Oculus Rift that everyone was so excited about as finally being something new in gaming possibly fits into Facebook's strategies in a positive way. And that could have fallout. For instance, the new head positioning system that's so neat for gaming is not really necessary for what Zuck's talking about in his post.

Yes, it's possible FB could actually just leave Oculus alone.

Greg Scheel
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Look, corporatism is evil. Adam smith said so himself, if I had the time I would give you the reference. Amalgamation is never good, neither for the customer, nor for the labor, nor for the independant producer.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Ron Dippold
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Sorry for the double post, but on further contemplation (why IS this so visceral?) I think the strength of the reactions comes from pairing something that makes most people who use it really happy (Rift) with something that makes its users miserable (Facebook) and the suspicion that the end goal, at least on the FB side, is now to use this wonderful thing to make their users even more miserable (but still unable to leave).

Also it's kind of depressing how breathtakingly fast things go from amazing and blue horizon to 'how can we sell more ads with this?' now.

Marvin Papin
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@ Gord Cooper
Are you using Facebook.
If yes, would you have the same opinion if tomorrow you find a 40m ad on a building with your vacancy picture on it while you're taking sun, you're face all red.

Maybe they do not only bad things but they can and they sell your informations. Since it expands to an entertainment device company which grows from nothing to 1M to 2 billions $ worth within 2 years.

People react that way because they are worried and they had bad experiences about what happened in those cases.

Wait and see... but I sincerly hope you're right even if I'm convinced that's not the case.

Jennis Kartens
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Ah well...

"When deep space exploration ramps up, it'll be the corporations that name everything, the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks."

Dane MacMahon
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I don't see any head apparatus for media becoming mainstream, ever. What do I know though, I guess.

Alan Barton
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NNNOOOOOOO!!!!

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of gamers dreams suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. :(

My dreams of VR feel shattered by what sounds like VR being seen as the next datamining portal into peoples lives. :(

Ryan Christensen
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umDr0mPuyQc

Bruno Xavier
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i2.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/006/725/desk_flip.jpg

Ron Dippold
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The Project Morpheus guys at Sony must be going nuts with the high fives and popping champagne all over the place.

In a few hours they just went from 'Oh, Sony's making an Oculus too?' to 'Hey Morpheus, you're looking miiiighty fine tonight.'

Marvin Papin
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Not at all since they relies very heavily on Occulus Devs to produce game to sell on PS4 beyond PC. Nearly no mental healthy dev would develop new gen games for an Expansive Tech on PS4 with is not supplied with. Is kinect a viable thing ? No game have been done fast and most of kinect devices are sleeping deep in a furniture.

Morpheus without oculus is nothing. They have the tech, the (cool) design but not the content.

Nate Anonymous
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Meh, it could have been worse. After the Sony announcement I was worried that Microsoft might acquire and then cripple Oculus as the Xbox One does not have the specs to drive 1080p VR with next to no lag.

I'm cautiously optimistic. Yes, facebook has thusfar done nothing for the core gaming community. But Facebook could still support Oculus's original strategy because (a) the halo effect from owning a beloved tech even though it doesn't really fit and (b) VR is coming regardless.

Even if Oculus goes the way of winamp rather than Skype, VR is coming regardless. Sony and Valve already have prototypes as good if not better than what Oculus has put together. Plus, a valuation of 2 billion before anything has went to market will only encourage Valve to rethink its tinkering strategy and jump into the market with both feet (or sell to someone who will).

Alan Barton
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The only way it could be worse, is if Valve sold out to Facebook!!!

As it stands, Valve should be worried about Facebook's long term intentions here, as Facebook could easily set themselves up against Steam, so its not in Valve's interests to help Oculus now. But far worse than even that, its not in Oculus/Facebook's interest to help Valve if Facebook is looking to become a game distributor to compete against Steam.

Plus imagine asking core gamers to install Facebook DRM (plus god knows what spyware) on their machines, just to use Oculus.

You only have to look at reddit tonight to very clearly see the massively negative core gamer attitude against Facebook and now Oculus. This isn't good for Oculus and I'm so gutted to have to say that. :(

George Menhal III
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This is terrible news.

For the life of me, I can't begin to understand why Oculus would sell this technology to Facebook--a company that has demonstrated zero interest in game development of any kind. When you've got the big console manufacturers arms-racing to beat your technology to market, you don't sell your progress to a company whose public identity completely undermines everything you have been working to achieve. Facebook is beyond status quo. How is social media pushing any envelopes forward? How is Mark Zuckerberg going to hold up in a discusssion of low-level hardware implementation details against a monolithic intellect such as Jon Carmack?

It's just a total disaster in the making and my hopes for VR are just about crushed into the dirt at this point.

Gord Cooper
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"For the life of me, I can't begin to understand why Oculus would sell this technology to Facebook--a company that has demonstrated zero interest in game development of any kind."

For years, FB watches companies like King and Zynga become explosive properties riding the back of their existing infrastructure. They want a piece of the action. Start where noone else is, so that you own the space.

"How is social media pushing any envelopes forward?"

You're kidding, right? You realize it's the advent of social media portals that has popularized gaming to the point where literally 1/3rd of the planet now plays video games through this portal.

"How is Mark Zuckerberg going to hold up in a discusssion of low-level hardware implementation details against a monolithic intellect such as Jon Carmack?"

Subjective opinion of Zuckerberg's ability to comprehend technology aside, how has Carmack ever indicated he has a mind for communicating concepts on a large-scale level? He's a brilliant man who doesn't understand how to 'dumb down' his message and concepts so that people actually understand it, and have interest in it. It's always been Carmack's partners that have done this job. Now it's Zuckerberg's job, and he's good at it.



I'm not advocating for Facebook, I'm advocating for a unilateral view based on objectivity rather than some deep seating rage against the machine.

Greg Scheel
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@cooper
You have obviously never been screwed over by a major corporation.

Chris Melissinos
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You can be screwed over by individuals, small companies or large corporations. What's your point again? Does this transaction automatically invalidate the technology or people behind it? No? Ok then.

How about letting the dust settle before we decide to write them off?

Gord Cooper
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I've worked at one of the previous 'Worst Company in America' winners, let's not make assumptions based upon absolute conjecture.

I've never been personally screwed by Facebook, if you'd like a reference point for my seemingly baseless objective opinion.

Karl E
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Perhaps Facebook just takes their own name very literally. They don't want any competition for people's faces.

Andrew Brozek
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I feel like the only person on the internet who is really happy for Oculus.

They made a VR revolution and now they get rewarded for their hard work. Why do we hate them now that they are super successful? I just don't get the hate. Where did people think this was going?

Lance Thornblad
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Rewarded how? They already had $75 million in investments.

Pretty sure people are reacting to the idea that this really cool technology might no longer be as open as it once was. I'm in "wait and see" mode, but I'm not particularly optimistic.

Michael G
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A reward for a consumer conscious developer should be selling a high-quality product they can be proud of, not selling the company for shares in another company.

Chris Melissinos
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And who says they can't deliver that same high quality product they can be proud of?

Michael G
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Because they now answer to Facebook's shareholders who have no interest in VR, only high profit margins.

Chris Melissinos
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So, only non public companies can build products they can be proud of? Got it. As for shareholders, Zuck holds 30% and, to date, the board lets him pretty much do what he likes.

Emory Myers
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It's March 25th, you guys are running this story a week early.

Greg Scheel
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F*** Oculus and Facebook, I will never develop for them now.
Sony, maybe, but still, we deserve better.

Amir Barak
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I think Markus Persson provides a succinct explanation for the negative reaction;
"Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers." [http://notch.net/2014/03/virtual-reality-is-going-to-change-the-w
orld/]

I've been scraping some money to get the second devkit... I'm glad I didn't pre-order it...

Glenn Sturgeon
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Now it will be intresting to see if all the brilliant people within oculus inc. jump off the rat ship.

Rob Solomon
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I think that once Oculus saw Sony putting significant resources into their own solution that they realized they needed capital to get their product to market ahead of them. But who to receive the capital from? You're not going to get $2 billion from Kickstarter, so they turned to Facebook, who is not currently aligned with any hardware manufacturer. It keeps the platform hardware-agnostic, so what could be the problem?

Unfortunately, they miscalculated just how much of the enthusiasm for the Oculus was about the *idea* of a rogue company beating the established players. When Oculus turned to the establishment for money, people who felt personally invested in that *idea* got upset, particularly since it was crowd-funding that gave them their initial wings.

I'm sure the Oculus folks are slightly taken aback by the emotionally negative responses. "But the hardware will be the same, and we'll have more resources to deliver it!," they say.

Let's say Oculus needed to be bought by someone to survive. Who should have bought them instead? Is there anyone but Valve? If Valve was not interested, would you be happier they sunk?

Alan Barton
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Its not just Oculus turning to a big company. They turned to Facebook a company many hate plus Oculus was set to become a big company, so they didn't need a big company.

Paul Speed
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This. I think people vastly underestimate how much capital it will take to mass produce a VR headset cheap enough for the masses to buy. Commodities of scale.

I'm old enough to have been hearing "VR is the Future!" since the early 90s. It's nice to see three separate players now poised with appropriate capital to push this forward for real.

Alan Barton
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I was a professional electronics design engineer for years, so I can say for certain $75M is way more than enough to launch this product and they have also sold over 75k of development kits so far, which adds tens of millions more income, so they are not short of money. Also don't forget they expected to bring this to market initially for way less than the $2.4M they got during Kickstarter.

This sale isn't to launch the Oculus headset. Its the directors selling out to sell their company, not their product and I've seen that kind of behaviour many times before. VC's expect a return on their investment and they can get that selling out to a big company far faster than staying the course with a new product. This $2B isn't about bring the headset to market, no matter what their PR people want to tell us.

With the huge gamer support and huge viral demard for the Oculus, they could have been their own games console in the future. They threw away a huge oppotunity by selling out so fast.

Chris Melissinos
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So, you designed electronics for many years. Have you ever had to deliver a consumer device, in a competitive market, develop marketing campaigns, do media buys, seed development communities, secure content rights for launch, etc., not to mention continuing to refine and build the product that will release? $75 mil is decent money, but to make a dent and educate consumers about the benefits in adopting such a tech, the percentage of that money that can be applied from that $75m won't move the needle.

The VCs do expect a return on their investment, of course. And seeing Sony's headset may have prompted them to move quickly. Perhaps it is to get the platform into a place with the money to make it a consumer success, not just a success among us game industry/devs?

Amir Barak
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But that's the thing, in the end and no matter how you spin it, the Occulus Rift is not a platform, it's a technology associated with a platform. And that platform, for better or worse, is now Facebook.

I was interested (as a developer and a gamer) in the Occulus Rift as a technology to bridge platforms and create an immersive 3D experience. This is no longer the case as the Occulus Rift is now owned by Facebook and will be used to access their platform, a platform which has very little interest to me.

Another issue that seem to rise from this acquisition is Palmer Luckey's post downplaying it as a buyout and tending it as a partnership. Something which people have, rightfully, questioned.

Does this change the technology or the people involved with? Of course not. But it most assuredly changes the company's direction and "spirit" not to mention customer perception of it. And right now the majority of their customers, I would think, are developers (either professionals or amateurs). How positive has the Occulus Rift community's reaction been? How do you think this would affect the product?

Marvin Papin
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@ Paul Speed
That was the future, now that's the present.

@ Chris Melissinos
There is no competition since they gained a great reputation. They already have (or maybe "had" now) a great technological advance + Carmack :) + devs on their side. And sony is not a competitor since they will just promote PS4 and eventually 3D new tech bluray visualization.

Chris Melissinos
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For now, it will be PS4. Imagine if it takes root we will see it off the platform.

Alan Barton
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My point is Oculus could have grown their business organically. Valve did it and many companies do it and Oculus had huge consumer backing, so they could have done it.

Also early adopters expect high prices until over time Economies of scale kick in. This sale wasn't about the money to bring VR to market. They were well set to do that already before selling out to Facebook.

Sure some big companies can and do throw tens and even hundreds of millions at marketing, but not all do, because throwing huge amounts at marketing etc.. is often a dream and a gamble of winning instant big sales ... and it doesn't always work out. Whereas growing a company with organic sales takes time.

Also selling Oculus so soon missed out of so much they could have done to grow their business. For example, its easy to imagine future VR versions ending up becoming their own platform, like its own console.

Many companies start small and grow large.

Also Oculus sold extremely cheaply for $2B. Facebook threw $19B away on an instant messager for smartphones!

Chris Melissinos
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Correction. Oculus did not have huge consumer backing, they had significant developer confidence. Big difference.

Alan Barton
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Correction. Are you seriously trying to tell us only developers believed in VR and not the gamers! You really need to listen to your customers more.

Chris Melissinos
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The majority of the game playing public (i.e. not the hardcore) has no idea what Oculus is. NeoGaf crowd? Sure. Gamasutra? Of course. My neighbors? Not a clue. You want VR to take off in a real and demonstrable way, then you need scale.

$75M won't give them scale. $2B (really $400M which pays back the VCs and puts a bit in the coffers while providing them incentive to help keep the stock price elevated) gets them into FB (the company) and now have access to marketing, partnerships, distribution, engineering, raw materials, etc. that they could not have as a small, yet kick ass, company.

I do listen to my customers and they are much broader and complicated than the core gamer/dev who was bought in without even trying the product, knowing what games would be available, what the price point would be, etc. This is not about "us", its about everyone else.

Greg Scheel
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@Melissinos What PR firm do you work for?

Not to be sarcastic or disparaging, but I do find it suspicious how the few Facebook supporters seem to miss the total disapointment felt by the people.

Marvin Papin
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@ Chris Melissinos

- Sony wouldn't have beaten Oculus so they would have stayed over PS4 that's obvious since oculus is a way more installed with better tech (over a year of research in avoiding motion sickness and other stuff)

- Yes, that mean devs. Now say to a player that Naugthy Dog, Arkanes Studio, Bungie, Michel Ancel (ubi montpellier) [of course they do not afaik], they will move toward oculus.
Players want games, devs do that. And a certain quality is emanating from games so far. With a so large infatuation for that tech and due to price a potentially large installed devs that would have been largely enough to convince them. Moreover, AAA console games are lacking of originality and are not enough.

- Finaly, make a player test it. (I still not tried it out) But apparently, even the core DK1 impressed everybody, so imagine a consumer version !!!

Chris Melissinos
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@Marvin Papin

- Debatable to say which has the better tech. Sony's tech has been in development for a few years. Also, with regard to research, look into Richard Marks' (the lead engineer on the project) background. In fact, I'll do it for you. Here is his bio from 2004....

"Richard Marks was an Avionics major at MIT before getting his PhD at Stanford in the Aerospace Robotics Lab. His thesis was in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in the area of visual sensing for automatic control of an underwater robot. He then joined Teleos Research, a computer vision start-up that was later acquired by Autodesk. He departed and consulted for a year, before the unveiling of the PlayStation2 hardware inspired him to join PlayStation R&D. His research focus has been studying real-time video input to the PS2, and he is credited as the inventor of the EyeToy technology. Richard now manages the Special Projects group of Sony Computer Entertainment US R&D, which includes Man-Machine Interfaces and Physical Simulation research. "

A year in motion sickness research? Richard has been doing this kind of work for more than a decade. And this is not an assumption, I worked with him in the mid 2000's. The guy is freaking brilliant.

- Regarding devs, do you think that the work done for stereoscopic displays, head tracking, etc. won't be ported to other headsets? And who is to say that Oculus won't be everything people wanted it to be? Oculus just got themselves a huge influx of resources to bring their product to market AT SCALE. The outrage is all coming from people who wanted them to remain independent, be the scrappy underdog, etc. and the technology everyone loved is still there. Until there is something to ACTUALLY be alarmed about, why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

- Maker a player test it where? At stores? Agreed! Now go fund the development of 5,000 kiosks, custom demo software, consumer testing versions of the setup, gain distribution and key placement at retail, ensure there is a large enough slate of content for the device, educate consumers so that they don't try to hook this up to a 3 year old MacBook Air, and set aside inventory for returns/breakage. Oh, and get that customer support service in place for the calls they will get, not to mention a legal fund for the inevitable lawsuits.

And, you acre correct, the DK1 even impressed. I was using this last GDC in the back room of the Oculus booth and the guy demoing it for me had to catch me as I started falling out of my chair. Crazy good tech. Even tried it at the Engadget show in NYC last Fall with the Omni 360 treadmill. Huge potential, and now they actually have a shot at achieving their huge potential.

Greg Scheel
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@Melissinos Dude, look at the reaction... Oculus has near zero potential now.

Alan Barton
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@ Chris Melissinos

The majority of the public never has an idea what "Product A" is.

When "Product A, B or C" launches, its the early adopters who help that product grow.

Replace "Product A" with any product you like. Even the Internet grew this way. All of home computing grew this way in the early 1980s.

Sure throwing millions at marketing can help product A grow *faster*, but its not needed for success. Also throwing millions at marketing can often be a reason for failure. The Dotcom boom is a perfect demonstration that this is true.

What is this single minded blind rush to throw huge money around in the belief that is the only solution. Throwing money around wasn't needed for Oculus.

We are in a different world than 20 years ago. Business and marketing is fundamentally different due to how the crowd moves. The crowd was behind Oculus. The crowd seed funded Oculus!. Oculus had huge support from early adopters. Oculus was without doubt the foremost VR company. Now Oculus have nuked their image with what is without doubt one of the biggest PR disasters I have ever seen. The scale of this PR disaster is literally Oculus "Doing a Ratner" level PR mistake.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_a_Ratner#The_speech

Its too early for us to know how history will record this event, but I know how I feel and will remember this event. I feel utterly gutted by the destruction of the dream of helping to bring Oculus to the market. Now I will not help or promote Oculus. I want and need an open VR platform. Sure VR will live on, but Oculus carried our dreams and that feels like an utter betral by them selling out to Facebook of all companies.

Greg Scheel
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@Barton I feel for you, I had absolutely nothing invested in Oculus, not money or expectations, yet I feel floored at the thought of all the folks who belived in the product and company being betrayed like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_0di2IL440

Chris Melissinos
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@Greg Scheel

Yes, look at the reaction. Kneejerk reaction without giving the company that everyone loved, with a technology that everyone loved, the benefit of the doubt. If it has near zero potential now it has nothing to do with the technology, assuming that they bring what they stated to market, and everything to do with some people feeling as if Oculus personally hurt them.

It remains to be seen what will happen in the long run. I am not saying that this isn't potentially horrible for the product either. I would rather wait and see what happens instead of getting angry for all the wrong reasons and dismissing perfectly good technology.

@Alan Barton

Thanks for the lesson in marketing and launching a product ;)

In all seriousness, money does not solve everything, absolutely correct. However, the resources they have acquired allows them to build for a bigger launch and a better product.

So, what happens if they launch and it is everything they said? Open community, kick ass hardware, open to all devs, etc. What happens then? Will you still feel gutted? Will people swallow their pride and reverse course or does the bitterness of the Facebook brand offend them so much that they can't see past it? This scenario is every bit as valid as those jumping to the conclusion that Oculus is doomed.

I am all for waiting and see what happens.

Marvin Papin
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@ Chris Melissinos

- ok for the CV, but apparently, Morpheus is not better than occulus (many even say a VERY little below, but this doesn't matter)

- I did not say there will not be competitors but - before the FB intrusion - Morpheus wouldn't have been able to break occulus which was supported by most devs and since they had a length ahead, they probably had a really big advantage.

- I was speaking about virality to show occulus, just go beyond Video Game Communication, do some show in many countries and invite press to make speak about it, but they was doig well.

- Ok but I highlighted I was speaking about before FB announcement. And even if it's a tsunami among devs, they can still work well 'til FB is doing the wrong step. Let's see ;)

But anyway. I hope that we will not be screwed and I maintain my preorder to use that tech even if future is with another headset.
... Waiting for a FB business plan announcement. (0o)

Alan Barton
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@Chris Melissinos

You are trying hard to spin this as a positive. Let me guess, you are developing a VR game.

@"What happens then"

First off, VR is here to stay, whatever happens to Oculus.

second, Oculus has lost almost all its early adopters, so Oculus will struggle to recover from the current hole they dug for themselves.

Third, the major engines already aim to support VR, so Oculus will work, if Oculus is what the gamers want to buy? If Oculus isn't what the gamers want to buy and instead gamers choose another VR company, then that will also work.

Forth, Oculus == Facebook == Ads & Spying. Oculus know people hate what they have done, so they will have to move slowly, but they will move it. Its the boiling frog principle. What happens then, is that over time, slowly, very slowly, it changes into Facebook lock in. It will all be sold to us as features, of course.

Even if Oculus stays ok at the start, I have serious doubts about Facebook's plans for Oculus in the longer term.

Marvin Papin
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@ Alan Barton

right, I will wait to see how will VR standardization will come (for most games to support most devices)

but, maybe that's kinda to much to say they lost almost all their early pretenders. Ok, the reaction is big and fast, but that not necessarily means that. I was not a part of Kickstarter campaign. And even if I disagree, I'll support theim 'til things goes wrong and Carmack or Luckey leaves or before the OVR becomes to big (since people outside VG industries will support it despite FB potential control).

And i've also doubts. But even if they goes to far, entering the rift as spy, could be too much and they could be blown up. But maybe that could lead to reforge human rights toward non-spying abuse : ) , hey common, nobody reads those thousand lines of rules and confidentiality.

But "love is about giving someone the power to destroy you while hoping he wont" or it should give something that way in english. So, do not love FB

Ryan Christensen
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Strange news indeed but no doubt they will have funding to do what they need now (no more kickstarters but I backed it and feel a little eh about kickstarter now).

Maybe Facebook is interested in gaming for real this time? Their Unity/Facebook push and this are a signal that they value that aspect of the business and realize that it has been a big driver of the platform. VR actually gives Facebook some interesting cool tech and they have been pretty good about other aquisitions recently Parse, WhatsApp and now Oculus, leaving them to operate the same eventhough they are under FB now.

There is also no doubt Zuckerberg is winning the game of life. He not only has everyone's hero John Carmack working for him now, he also gets to play with VR toys in a lab. I think Facebook was built solely for this outcome and he is a genius.

Life is stranger than fiction, Carmack is a Facebook employee (but I am sure he just got mega rich again).

--Mr. Brightside

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

Greg Scheel
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Oculus Rift just downed Kickstarter... not sure how I am going to raise money for my own project now.

Marvin Papin
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Carmack is an employee and will stay one 'til FB put hands on company.
FB didn't buy OVR just to see how they work (2B$ seriously).
Once they will act, if they go to far, Carmack will leave. Hope he'll take advantage of the situation.

William Ravaine
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Bleh. Disapointing :\

Alan Barton
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Oculus this was a hugely bad move. You had huge potential and you let your VC's greed take your company down for early money, instead of staying the course. :(

I've sadly lost hope in Oculus ... but there is still hope for VR in the form of CastAR. It may well be better for gaming long term, as it can do VR & AR so more options for all games developers and it'll be free from InYourFaceBook spying on everyone's every move.

Here's the CastAR link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/technicalillusions/castar-the-most-versatile-ar-a nd-vr-system

Greg Scheel
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Having just been burned, how many of y'all are really willing to pitch in again?

Minecraft did not do a kickstarter, it started on a java gaming forum, food for thought.

Alan Barton
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CastAR already have their money. They were "successfully funded on November 14.". They asked for $400k and got over $1M. Their product can do both AR and VR.

If you've not seen CastAR yet, its well worth looking at what their system can do. Its VR and AR. It can project video into the world or into our eyes, so its a very clever concept. Here's their launch video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOI5UW9khoQ

I really think they are the next hope for Open development on the PC.

Ryan Flowers
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I am pretty disappointed. However, it is kind of funny that a ton of developers just found out they were making Facebook games.

Mike Griffin
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This is bound to reduce some of the friendly cross-chat that has existed between Oculus and Sony's VR teams, but I suppose both are heading down similar paths in terms of technological hurdles to sort out.

Hardware iteration won't slow down for Oculus in the short term. Facebook forms its overarching plans for VR software as the Oculus team proceeds with its own hardware and software development in parallel.

Sony is slightly restricted by its lead VR platform, but constraints often breed creativity. At least we can be assured that Sony's future VR software output will be largely comprised of games. Sony is also a powerhouse in film/TV/music, so we'll see some media-based VR attempts in the early phase too.

Now (a.k.a. a few years forward) we might see Sony's VR team aping a dominant social/lifestyle immersion app that has been a huge mainstream success for Riftbook.

Nonetheless, Sony gets to experiment in the wild for a generation and pave the way for a matured VR on their next home console.

Meanwhile, Microsoft now prepares an interesting pseudo-VR + AR, Google Glass-ish, Kinect-controlled solution for Xbox One.

Facebook will let the Oculus team work through its current objectives, but how long before they attach an internal team to the unit, whose only task is to produce social/lifestyle immersion VR apps for the Rift?

The Rift had previously been designated the companion to bleeding-edge PC gaming technology, piggy-backing the natural "FLOPS king" in the PC; claiming that distinct advantage over Sony in the long term, as the PS4 is slightly under-powered to handle current VR's desired 'minimum spec'.

Enter the Facebook-coddling social/lifestyle VR games from the Oculus Games sub-division.

There's a massive amount of Facebook users--and potential customers--that do not run the site on a PC/tablet/phone that is capable of playing games even remotely as complex as the PS4 can. This may be true into the end of 2015 (VR's pre-destined consumer debut), even with the rapid increase in mobile chipset horsepower and scaling-up of PC's mid-range.

Thus, we'll still have an enormous chunk of Facebook users that simply won't have the processing power to run the VR tech early on. That may prove to be more limiting to Facebook's mainstream VR efforts than Sony's minor perceived compute deficit during this nascent consumer VR effort.

For a lot of Facebook users that will have the VR initiative marketed to them, they won't own a PC/tablet that's adequate for high end gaming (or powering the Oculus VR experience) because... they own a PS4 for that, or may not have the budget for one or both.

So Facebook may need to herd the enthusiasts and power users first, let the Oculus team continue that trajectory in a non-fragmented fashion for a stretch.

Perhaps later (and separately), assemble a cheaper 'lite' Oculus hybrid designed to run less demanding social/lifestyle/communications VR utility apps on mid-range chipsets.

Marvin Papin
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1) Today with indies, you don't need a high end PC.

2) Sony just plan to release a device for PS4 so it relies on Oculus rift games to be port onto PS4. They know they couldn't have the possibility to beat Oculus, and maybe that's still the case. So that's not a reason for Oculus to go under FB wing T_T.

3) A facebook user is not a FB oriented device buyer. Most needs only it on phones and most people I now will never go beyond current FB use. If they are intersted in the Oculus they will buy it and maybe use FB but they wont buy it for FB.

4) I just think Oculus founders just found a big deal to continue their work and got a huge amount of money. The dream.
If FB say :
"hey your company is cool, could I buy it"
, and you say
"never, ... or ok 5B$, haha"
and they say
"let's go for 2B$, and you continue like if we are not here",
do you refuse ? Sure Oculus VR is a great grossing business. But maybe that worth jumping on the occasion right now. I think they could have earned much more but so many Millions of dollars per founder is quite much.

Chris Melissinos
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@Marvin Papin

1) No, but Oculus needs a better than decent one.

2) Sony would start with PS4, but they are a consumer electronics company as well. If there is enough support for this, you bet it will make it past PS4.

3) Separate Facebook.com from Facebook the company. Amazon, a book retailer, will never get into grid computing, device manufacturing, or transportation innovation. Amirite?

4) Oculus is a company with ZERO revenues. Nothing. They have not sold a single consumer device yet. They funded the current slate of dev kits through crowd funding. How is this a great grossing business yet? All of that remains to be seen.

They were smart. They took the VC money to gain legitimacy, refine the demo kit, bring in more resources. Bigger player come in with bigger assets and they seek support from a big company to leverage resources and compete. This is not selling out, this is preparing for a moon shot.

Greg Scheel
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@Melissinos looks like they crashed and burned instead... rocket science is dangerous, mmkay?

Chris Melissinos
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@Greg Scheel

You and I have a very different definition of "crashed and burned". Let's wait and see, shall we?

Amir Barak
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"3) Separate Facebook.com from Facebook the company. Amazon, a book retailer, will never get into grid computing, device manufacturing, or transportation innovation. Amirite?"
Then again Amazon the company has pursued all these with the same zeal and underhanded business practices as the website they run. Also, none of the Amazon devices operate independently from the main company. So are you trying to help people feel better or worse about the Facebook/OculusVR acquisition?

Chris Melissinos
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@Amir Barak

You know what? Fair point. Amazon may not be the best example, but they did forge ahead into markets unrelated to retailing. The fact that Facebook is branching out into other areas does not mean the automatic demise for those companies they acquire.

Greg Scheel
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@Melissinos Popularity... there is nothing left to see but the ruin of a once popular product and company. Hard to imagine that they will get much traction now.

Amir Barak
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I agree that an automatic demise is not a granted result, I just think it's worrying the way Luckey's been throwing around "I guarantee" and "I promise" as responses for criticism because that, if nothing else, is PR speak. More transparency and thoughtfulness towards the announcement of this acquisition would have gone a long way to mitigate the negative responses.

But the major problem is that, in the end and no matter how we spin it, Facebook now owns the OculusVR company. This means consumers are no longer privy to the undercurrents of a company that until now was considered open and the company itself (no matter how independent) is still accountable to the vision which drives Facebook. It's just hard to believe that that vision has anything to do with technological advancement.

Both Luckey and Zuckerberg have stated that Facebook is not interested or capable of generating profit from the physical Oculus technology. This leads me to wonder where and how that profit is going to be integrated into the system?

Marvin Papin
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@ Chris Melissinos

1) ?_? Why, occulus just send position and orientation datas calculated by an internal device and the computer only render 2 images, so twice a rastering but approx the same culling and finally it does a distortion of the render image. This is not very much compared to physics calculation or othe things ? Ok that's a bit hot for a HD4000 on Core i7 at 2.0Ghz but with a core Geforce...

2) If that did not happen, they wont have moved. As i already said, Since morpheus is an optionnal device for PS4, probably expansive with "what was" occulus next to it, they would have been mad to launch theimselves as first shoot. But i like Morpheus design :)

3) Amazon sold books, then other stuff and grew up, but anyway that's a shop. Afaik, FB is just a social network. People never bought directly a facebook stuff. Ok, i just went toward expanding socialization but maybe they just wanna have a different business but using that door is wierd in that case (°.°).

4) Since everybody invest(ed) in it and everybody were impressed by the tech, beyond Gaming Industry... far beyond.

As i said in another post (somewhere here :-) ), yes probably a moon shoot while growing facebook shares. But they'll need to communicate fast to not loose all other devs...

Michael Thornberg
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Hello Valve VR, can I buy a devkit?

Lance Thornblad
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The head Valve VR guy joined Oculus, but I hope Valve still has something planned.


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