It’s not April Fools Day 2014 yet, but it may feel like it for some of you reading the massive news this week. After completing their purchase of Whatsapp just weeks ago, we can now confirm that Facebook has made the somewhat surprising move to buy upcoming virtual reality company Oculus Rift for $2 billion.
Oculus Rift is the very promising virtual reality technology of course, which is still in development and is set to shake up the gaming industry in a big way when it is final ready for public release.
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Oculus Rift was also a gaming start up that initially launched on Kickstarter, making this $2 billion Facebook buyout all the more remarkable. Mark Zuckerberg believes that Oculus has the potential to “change the way we work, play and communicate”, which you can read about in a full statement here.
What we wanted to talk about though is the instant repercussions that have already been made due to the deal. In another surprising piece of news, Minecraft creator Notch has revealed that he has just cancelled a deal which was in place for Minecraft to appear on Oculus Rift.
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.
— Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014
Notch has said that ‘Facebook Creeps Him Out’ and is now looking elsewhere with different opportunities to put Minecraft on other platforms. Notch has even revealed in a personal statement that he was one of the top level backers on Kickstarter for Oculus and was in the closing stages of bringing a smaller version of Minecraft to Oculus.
However, the purchase by Facebook has changed his mind completely it seems, with Notch saying this about the company in a statement on his website:
“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.”
He also went on to say:
“I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me.”
While Notch’s pullout is not likely to trouble Facebook on the bigger picture, it will be interesting to see what other developers who have backed the project feel after seeing Notch voice his opinion on the matter.
Give us your reaction to Facebook buying Oculus Rift for $2 billion. Do you ultimately think this is a good move for the gaming and social spaces on a whole or not?