Oculus VR founder, Palmer Luckey, and co-founder, Brendan Iribe, sat down to an interview with VentureBeat to talk about the company’s insane 21 month journey from startup to a $2 billion acquisition by Facebook that took place yesterday.
Iribe stated that Oculus VR “got the deal done with Facebook in three days.” He then added that,
“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.”
Iribe said that the team was “building this thing and going along this path” when the co-founders met Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who was ”really interested: in what the company was 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 Palmer met him, too. And then he asked, ‘How can I help? How can Facebook help you?’
“We described our roadmap. Then he said, ‘What if we partner with you? 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?’
“It would use the best components and build a superior technology platform. Then let’s sell it at cost.”
Founder Palmer Luckey then added that Facebook and Oculus didn’t seem an “obvious fit, unlike WhatsApp or Instagram.” He then said,
“You can see how they fit together. If I were to read the headline, I would be confused about why it would be a good thing. We’ve already said quite a bit. We’re going to have more good news about what we will be able to do now. We are working with Facebook, and we can’t announce it yet.
“Every developer we are working with has had a very positive reaction. My inbox is flooded by email. A huge number of developers. Some people are upset. But the vast majority who are actually software developers see why this is a good thing.”
About Minecraft’s Notch cancelling his Oculus Rift deal because “Facebook creeps him out,” Palmer said that he is “an exception to the rule,” but after he sees “everything we are able to do, I hope he will change his mind.”
What are your thoughts about Facebook acquiring Oculus VR?