Facebook has reached an agreement to acquire virtual reality company Oculus VR Inc. for around $2 billion. The deal puts the Oculus Rift virtual reality platform in the hands of one of the biggest corporations on the planet.
Oculus will remain headquartered in Irvine and continue to develop the Oculus Rift ahead of a consumer version of the device hitting the market which is expected in late 2014 or early 2015.
In a statement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate"
Reactions to the news have been varied and swift. "Minecraft" creator Markus Persson says he was in talks about bringing a version of the popular world-building game to Oculus. Not anymore though, tweeting that "I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out." Persson says he remains keen to work with virtual reality platforms.
Many other game developers have also expressed concern and disappointment over the news, discussing the impact of Facebook's closed ecosystem on game developers, the impact on the audience, and issues with privacy and advertising.
The news comes a week after the announcement of what is shaping up to be Oculus' main rival, at least in the gaming arena, Sony's Project Morpheus for PS4.
Zuckerberg's ambitions for the tech though goes far beyond gaming, seeing the technology as the next big platform for all kinds of industries including communications, media, entertainment and education.
It's also a cheap deal for Facebook who recently acquired the popular WhatsApp service a few weeks ago for a much more pricey $19 billion.
Source: Business Insider