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Facebook Set to Invest Over $3 Billion in Virtual Reality

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his plan to invest over $3 billion in virtual reality over the next decade while testifying in the $2 billion lawsuit on the origins of Oculus. Oculus is the virtual reality company Facebook acquired in March 2014.

The lawsuit concerns the intellectual property of Oculus. The current Oculus CTO, John Carmack, was formerly a ZeniMax employee. Before that, he was also co-founder of id Software, co-creator of computer games Doom and Quake, and according to an email from Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, “essentially the inventor of 3D computer games and one of the all time greatest hackers”. ZeniMax Media, owner of video game developers Bethesda Softworks and id Software, claims that Oculus stole information from ZeniMax via Carmack that was instrumental in the creation of the virtual reality company’s core technology.

When presenting his oral argument on Tuesday, lawyer for ZeniMax Toni Sammi called it “one of the biggest technology heists ever.” ZeniMax added that Carmack selected employees from id Software to bring on to Oculus, presenting an email from Carmack from 2014 that lists four employees from id Software.

Facebook rejected these claimed and put forward its own. ZeniMax passed on a partnership and investment opportunity of up to 15 percent of the company with Oculus before Facebook acquired it. Facebook lawyer Beth Wilkinson stated during the company’s opening argument that “This case, because ZeniMax and the owners of ZeniMax feel badly, embarrassed, humiliated, that they didn’t do the deal, that they didn’t invest in this VR technology when they could have, they want to rewrite history.”

Since the acquisition of Oculus, Facebook has been working on ways to introduce virtual reality on its social media platform. Despite skepticism from Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, the company began integration in March 2016.

While there has not been any more reports about the project, Zuckerberg said in court that the goal over the next decade is to bring virtual reality to everybody.

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