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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 15 September, 2014

Facebook buys virtual reality company Oculus VR for $2 billion

So much for Facebook being done buying companies for a while, huh?

People using the Oculus Rift at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
People using the Oculus Rift at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Image: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

FACEBOOK HAS ANNOUNCED it has bought the virtual reality company Oculus VR for $2 billion.

The company, which is responsible for the VR headset Oculus Rift, will receive $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at $1.6 billion.

The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the company reaching certain milestones.

The Oculus Rift was originally a Kickstarter project which started in 2012. Aiming for funds of $250,000, it ended up raising $2.5 million, making it one of the most successful projects on the site. The product has been followed by both gamers and developers closely and has received more than 75,000 orders for development kits.

Announcing the news on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg said the deal will help the company reach out to other areas.

Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate…

But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.

This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.

The deal is expected to be closed in the second quarter of 2014.

Read: Sony leaps into virtual reality by announcing Playstation 4 headset >

Read: Addicted to Facebook games? You’re not the only one >

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