Virtual worlds again becoming a “hot” topic for investors? For sure in a few hours some announcements have shaken the field of virtual reality: if the former creator of Second Life, Philip Rosedale, raised 2.5 million dollars from True Venture for his new startup, High Fidelity of which we have already spoken, Luxottica signed a partnership with Google to “design, develop and deploy a new generation of glasses for Glass”. But the big shot is that of Facebook, which buy Oculus Rift for 2 billion dollars, ie nearly a thousand times the figure obtained by Iribe Brendan and Palmer Luckey in August 2012 through Kickstarter to be able to produce the first viewers for 3D virtual reality.
A relatively modest investment for a group with a market capitalisation of more than 155 billion dollars and that paid a month ago 19 billion dollars for WhatsApp also because in the end the Mark Zuckerberg company pays out “only” 400 million dollars in cash and sells 23.1 million shares accounted for 1.6 billion dollars, while the last 300 million will be paid only if certain milestones are achieved, which means that it might not be ever if things do not turn out as hoped (as found at the time by the founders of Club Penguin whom signed a similar agreement with Disney). If you are Mondivirtuali.it reader Oculus Rift is not new to you because a few days ago Linden Lab announced the launch of a beta-testing just about a Second Life viewer able to connect with the viewers of Oculus Rift.
In a letter to his users community the 22 years old Luckey Palmer (which you see also below in a picture of Daniel C. Griliopoulos and of which you can read here some other informations) explained that he realized that “VR technology wasn’t just possible, it was almost ready to move into the mainstream” and that “all it needed was the right push”. Such a move, let instead be known on Twitter Markus Persson, Minecraft creator, was even in the project of Mojang, but was canceled because, as explained by Persson, “Facebook makes me uncomfortable” so even though they had been initiated “talkings to possibly bring a version of Minecrat in Oculus”, Persson himself has “canceled the deal”.
An opinion that seems shared by many bloggers, gamers and fans of virtual reality that at this time commenting, mostly negatively, the news, despite Palmer himself has explained to believe that the partnership with Facebook is “a unique opportunity” which “accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas and take risks that were otherwise impossible”. Virtual reality, in short, “is coming, and it’s going to change the way we play games forever”. Those who are certainly satisfied with the agreement are Spark Capital and Matrix Partners, two venture funds, which last year had invested $ 19 million in two rounds of funding each (in June and in December) and which now find themselves, according to Bloomberg,two shareholdings valued at $ 380 million each.
Waiting to see how things evolve for Oculus Rift and virtual worlds, I point out that even Mondivirtuali.it is about to be renewed and is looking for new donors, members and partners, for departing from the scope of the blogosphere and become a “serious” project able to hold high the Italian flag in this sector. I am convinced that the skills and enthusiasm we have, the interest also, what is missing is a knowledge of the pitch and competitors and potential users whose Mondivirtuali.it wants to continue to inform more and more and more and better. Keep on, then follow the site as well as our Twitter account an our Facebook fanpage (but we are even on Flickr, on Scoop.it and on Paper.li) if you want to know more about.