When Facebook acquired virtual reality startup Oculus VR for $US2 billion in March, it came as a surprise to most of the tech community.
After all, Facebook isn’t primarily a hardware or a gaming company. However, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said the social media giant was a perfect fit for Oculus VR’s vision.
After Iribe first met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, he began to think about whether Facebook would be the right partner for Oculus.
“If we were going to partner with somebody, because this is a long road ahead … we were thinking the whole time that we wouldn’t partner with Microsoft or Sony,” Iribe said on stage at Business Insider’s Ignition conference.
Iribe said he didn’t want Oculus to partner with a company that was already strongly tied to an existing operating system or platform because it would be too limiting.
“This really needs to be a new platform,” he said.
The case was the same when he thought about what would happen if Oculus partnered with Google. Since Google is focused on so many bigger projects, Iribe felt Oculus might have gotten lost in the mix.
“We didn’t know how much time we’d get from the leadership team,” he said.
One of the biggest reasons Iribe said Facebook seemed like an attractive partner is because Oculus VR’s technology has the potential to become a really social platform.
“Your brain just believes you’re there,” Iribe said in reference to Oculus’ virtual reality technology. “The next step is to feel like you’re there with other people.”