Facebook has agreed to acquire virtual reality company Oculus VR in a deal worth approximately $2 billion (£1.2 billion).
Oculus VR has become well-known for its ‘immersive’ virtual reality technology, having received more than 75,000 development kit orders for its Oculus Rift 3D virtual reality headset.
The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, with the option of an extra $300 million in cash and stock based on future targets. It’s expected to be finalised in the summer.
Although Oculus has been focussed on gaming, Facebook says it plans to move the company into communications, media, entertainment, education and other areas - with virtual reality technology described as “a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform”.
Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR, said “We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world. We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning.”
Oculus will maintain a separate headquarters building in California and will continue its development of the Oculus Rift.