Think that after spending USD$16 billion to buy WhatsApp, Facebook would quiet down and work on its existing products, aiming to earn back that huge sum of money? Of course not, the social network giant has just announced that they will be acquiring Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately USD$2 Billion dollars.
The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at approximately USD$1.6 billion). The agreement also provides for an additional USD$300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.
So, what can a social network do with a immersive gaming device like the Oculus Rift? Besides the obvious like a virtual reality gaming experience, Facebook is looking into extending Oculus’ existing the service in new verticals like communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas:
“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” – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
Oculus is currently a leader in virtual reality technology and has a strong group of followers. To date, they have already received over 75,000 orders for development kits for the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset from the company. The company will maintain its headquarters in Irvine, California, and will continue development of the Oculus Rift. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.