Oculus VR Never Meant To Sell The Company
The deal was finalized in just three days.
Oculus Rift’s recent acquisition by Facebook caused a vitriolic backlash- the company lost all of the goodwill it has had since the Kickstarter days, and the hate is extending even to the development community, with prominent developers like Notch going as far as to cancel the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft because of this sale.
This comes from Oculus Rift co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe.
“We never intended to sell the company,” Iribe told VentureBeat. “We were building this thing and going along this path.”
He continued: “At one point, we were introduced to Mark Zuckerberg. He was really interested in what we were doing. He was fascinated like other people in the geek community, or gaming community. He was really excited about how we were making this thing work. He wanted me to show him the demo at Facebook. I told him there was a better demo down here in Irvine. He was able to hop on a flight down. He met the team. He saw the latest demos. We talked about the vision. The whole thing was about getting more comfortable with each other and the vision and becoming friends. He and I got to be really good friends, and [co-founder Luckey] Palmer met him, too. And then he asked, “How can I help? How can Facebook help you?”
“What if we partner with you?” Zuckerberg continued. “You stay the same. Stay who you are. You expand that vision and focus on other things also. Gaming is core. But how can we help and invest significantly into the platform, the hardware, and bring down the cost of it. We could make it more optimized, do custom silicon, make this even better. What if we also invest in the parts so you can sell the virtual reality platform at cost?”
Apparently the offer was tempting.
“We got the deal done with Facebook in three days,” said Iribe. “That’s how accelerated it was. We locked ourselves up in the Facebook HQ and did the deal. I have been through a few of these deals now and they usually take months. This was done in three days. That’s incredible. That’s their commitment to moving fast. We are moving fast and getting together to make the next computing platform.”