Count this one as just going through the motions. Facebook sailed through the FTC approval process and cemented its acquisition of Oculus VR. The virtual reality company was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in cash and stock. While the deal was met with a mountain of skepticism, the quick stamp of approval showed that the acquisition had no anti-trust implications.
For now, the Oculus Rift headset is available to developers who are testing out everything from virtual worlds and healthcare tools to video games. The first iteration of Oculus will be game-focused, with future editions broadening its horizons. Facebook is looking for the next thing after mobile, and they are betting virtual reality fits into a future narrative.
Oculus has had to deal with their share of backlash due to the Facebook deal. The company is quick to jump its defense, saying the deal expands opportunities for virtual reality. “This partnership is one of the most important moments for virtual reality: it gives us the best shot at truly changing the world,” the Oculus Rift team said. “It opens doors to new opportunities and partnerships, reduces risk on the manufacturing and work capital side, allows us to publish more made-for-VR content, and lets us focus on what we do best: solving hard engineering challenges and delivering the future of VR.”
Some developers were trigger happy in responding to the sale. Minecraft creator, Markus Persson, said he was going to cancel the game due to Facebook creeping him out. If Facebook manages to make Oculus a success, money talks. A stack of cash never creeps out a game developer. Not to mention, how many Minecraft editions are there?
With the FTC approval, the two companies can finalize the deal and move forward. Supporters of the Kickstarter and fans alike are curious to see what Oculus can bring to the gaming vertical. As for the next version? We will just have to wait and see if Facebook and Oculus can make good on being the most social platform ever.