Facebook has announced they will be acquiring Oculus VR, the virtual reality headset maker, for $2 billion. The acquisition includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million common shares, valued at $16 billion.
This is an odd move for both Oculus and Facebook to make, hit with lots of early criticism from onlookers and game developers, who believe the Oculus platform will become a giant social machine with Facebook new ownership.
Oculus VR’s founder Palmer Luckey has said Facebook will have nothing to do with the design of the user experience on Oculus and Palmer is putting lots of attention into making the platform viable for gamers of all backgrounds.
Facebook has been a hands of investor in the past, Instagram has, for the most part, remained the same as it did pre-acquisition, the only integration has been moving to Facebook’s platforms, instead of other third parties.
The company also recently acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, showing they have the money and time to spend on huge startups. Oculus VR may be the weirdest acquisition for Facebook, but could potentially show the social networks future in video games and social gaming.
Social features in gaming are always going to get hit hard by the community, until they actually start using them. The issue here is Facebook has the potential to ruin the Oculus VR headset when it comes to consumers later this year.
We do not see this being the case however, Facebook, as we said before, is a hands off owner, rather than a company that takes apart the startup and assigns them roles in the new company.
This is one of the reasons Palmer Luckey decided to go with Facebook’s offer, claiming a company like Microsoft or Apple would ruin the initial vision for their own, not something he wants to happen with Oculus VR.
The virtual reality world is heating up, with Valve, Sony and Microsoft potentially stepping with their own VR headsets. We wonder if the Oculus consumer product will actually be hit hard from the Facebook acquisition and if any Facebook integration will be required for certain apps or games.