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Iribe: We never intended to sell Oculus; Facebook buyout completed in just three days

Ben Parfitt
Iribe: We never intended to sell Oculus; Facebook buyout completed in just three days

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has said that it was never the plan to sell the company.

Despite this, so convinced were he and fellow co-founder Palmer Luckey that the actual deal that saw Facebook acquire the firm for $2bn was wrapped up in just 72 hours.

“We got the deal done with Facebook in three days. That’s how accelerated it was,” he told VentureBeat. “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.”

“We never intended to sell the company. We were building this thing and going along this path.”

Iribe also explained how Zuckerberg was able to convince him that Facebook was very much the right partner for Oculus.

“[Zuckerberg] 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 said.

“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 [Zuckerberg] 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?’”

Fellow co-founder Palmer Luckey also admitted that the scepticism that has met the announcement is understandable.

“Facebook and Oculus are not an obvious fit, unlike WhatsApp or Instagram. You can see how they fit together,” he said. “If I were to read the headline, I would be confused about why it would be a good thing.

“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.”

Luckey also hopes Minecraft creator Markus Persson will eventually have a change of heart, adding: “Notch is an exception to the rule. After he sees everything we are able to do, I hope he will change his mind.”

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Tags: facebook , sale , rift , oculus , iribe , luckey , Zuckerberg

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