Following the surprise announcement today that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR, 21-year-old Palmer Luckey, creator of the virtual reality headset, explained why the deal makes sense. In a detailed post on Reddit, Luckey said the $2 billion buyout will allow virtual reality to go mainstream, impacting not only gaming, but also many other industries.
"When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was skeptical. As I learned more about the company and its vision and spoke with [Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg], the partnership not only made sense, but became the clear and obvious path to delivering virtual reality to everyone," Luckey said. "Facebook was founded with the vision of making the world a more connected place. Virtual reality is a medium that allows us to share experiences with others in ways that were never before possible."
"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," he added. "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."
Overall, Luckey said partnering with Facebook is a "unique and powerful opportunity" for Oculus VR and virtual reality in general.
"The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas, and take risks that were otherwise impossible," he said. "Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated."
Luckey also made clear that "very little" will change at Oculus VR as a result of the buyout, though the company will now have "substantially more resources to build the right team."
"This is a special moment for the gaming industry," Luckey said. "Oculus' somewhat unpredictable future just became crystal clear: virtual reality is coming, and it's going to change the way we play games forever. I'm obsessed with VR. I spend every day pushing further, and every night dreaming of where we are going. Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined we'd come so far so fast."
"I'm proud to be a member of this community--thank you all for carrying virtual reality and gaming forward and trusting in us to deliver. We won't let you down."
Not all are happy about the Oculus VR/Facebook deal. Minecraft creator Markus Persson said today that he's canceled the VR version of Minecraft because Facebook is "creeps me out."
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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