Facebook announced Tuesday that they’ve acquired virtual reality company Oculus Rift for $2 billion.

Facebook Buys Oculus Rift

Mark Zuckerburg took to the social networking site he founded to reveal the company’s latest acquisition:

“When you put [the Oculus Rift headset] on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away,” wrote Zuckerburg. “The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.

"Oculus's mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences," Zuckerberg added. "Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be changing and we hope to accelerate."

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction,” concluded the tech mogul. “But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can't wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.”

Oculus Rift Defends Acquisition

Oculus got its start through crowd-funding website Kickstarter in 2012. At the time, the founders of Oculus Rift managed to raise $2.4 million. Like with other such campaigns. Oculus offered to compensate its early backers with swag and a chance at getting a stake in the company. Now that Facebook has bought Oculus, the backers won’t get equity in the company.

Explaining why they allowed Facebook to buy them, Oculus inventor Palmer Luckey cited Zuckerburg and Facebook’s commitment to innovation and the ability for Oculus to speed up their own vision in virtual reality technology.

“Facebook is run in an open way that’s aligned with Oculus’ culture. Over the last decade, Mark and Facebook have been champions of open software and hardware, pushing the envelope of innovation for the entire tech industry,” Luckey said in a Reddit post. “As Facebook has grown, they’ve continued to invest in efforts like with the Open Compute Project, their initiative that aims to drive innovation and reduce the cost of computing infrastructure across the industry. This is a team that’s used to making bold bets on the future.”

“In the end, I kept coming back to a question we always ask ourselves every day at Oculus: what’s best for the future of virtual reality? Partnering with Mark and the Facebook team is a unique and powerful opportunity,” Luckey added. “The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible. Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated.”

Facebook previously acquired Instagram for $1 billion and mobile messaging app WhatsApp for the high price tag of $19 billion.

– Chelsea Regan

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