Facebook has purchased Oculus VR – the company behind the world’s favourite VR headset, the Oculus Rift – for a hefty US$2 billion.
While not quite on the ludicrous scale of the social network giant’s US$19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, it’s still a lot of money for something that has little to do with Facebook’s core social values.
Many gamers and developers have already expressed their dismay at the news.
Markus Persson, creator of the insanely popular Minecraft tweeted that he “…was in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus”, but he cancelled the deal because “Facebook creeps [him] out”.
Facebook games like Farmville pushed forward the ‘freemium’ games revolution, in which gamers are able to play titles for free, but must pay for in-game extras if they want to advance faster.
It’s a deviously clever way of chipping away at your wallet a few small transactions at a time, but it all adds up in the end and it’s a model we personally wish would get sent to the seventh level of gaming hell.
Of course all the dismay be for nothing. Facebook might purely be looking to show its shareholders that it’s expanding, branching out into other fields to look for new opportunities. Plus there’s always Sony’s promising Project Morpheus VR headset to look forward to. If you’re a PS4 owner at least.
There’s a decent chance that the Oculus Rift project won’t be tampered with at all, and that things will carry on as normal, for the time being at least. Zuckerberg himself has stated that Oculus will continue to work independently of Facebook, and he’s hoping the acquisition will speed progress up, if anything.
After the Rift hits shelves in its final form however, we expect Facebook to get involved at some level, tweaking and tinkering away.
Zuckerberg also has bigger plans in mind that stretch beyond gaming. “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home”. Ambitious, yet exciting.
A Facebook UI designed for Oculus Rift is, in our opinion, also likely to be a future project, which is both simultaneously terrifying and intriguing. Giant pictures of people’s drooling babies blasted directly into our retinas?
We’re not so sure…
[via The Guardian]