On March 25th, Mark Zuckerberg- chief executive of Facebook announced that they have agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology. He stated
“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences. This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.”
Now, with the $2 billion deal yet to close, another company is laying claim to an important part of Oculus’s technology. ZeniMax Media, a video game publisher based in Washington, DC has sent multiple letters to Oculus and Facebook, claiming employee John Carmack “improperly took ZeniMax’s intellectual property with him to Oculus.” The Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset can be used to play videogames and to watch movies
Carmack was a former id Software (owned by ZeniMax) employee. ZeniMax claims the information Carmack took is what helped Oculus become so successful.
In a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal, an Oculus spokesman rejected ZeniMax’s allegations stating, “It’s unfortunate, but when there’s this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims. We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent.”
Facebook’s three biggest deals—Virtual reality Oculus, the mobile messenger WhatsApp and the photo-sharing app company Instagram—were all finalized in under two weeks. More typically, deal talks take months. Click here to know Few recent acquisitions from Facebook.
by Akshatha Karthik
Photo Credit: Sergey Galyonkin/www.flickr.com / CC BY-SA 2.0