Who could have imagined that a little over a year after the launch of its Kickstarter campaign, the firm Oculus will make virtual reality mainstream. Many observers believe that the Oculus Rift and virtual reality are the future of gaming and beyond.
After the $16 million raised in June, the virtual reality maker has received an additional $75 million led by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen’s Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, along with fellow partner Chris Dixon.
The money is intended for the further expansion of the company, and Oculus plans to use its new capital to produce commercial versions of its virtual reality glasses for video games. All of Oculus’ previous partners, including Matrix and Spark, are also increasing their investment. In addition, Oculus will make the hardware full HD capability along with further technical improvements, such as one or more integrated cameras.
“Over the past 16 months, we’ve grown from a start-up to a company whose virtual reality headset is poised to change the way we play, work and communicate,” said Brendan Iribe, the chief executive of Oculus VR. “Forty thousand developers and enthusiasts, as well as a number of great partners, have joined our cause and helped us bring the seemingly impossible to life. This additional infusion of capital, as well as the leadership and experience of Marc Andreessen, will help us take the final steps toward our ultimate goal: making virtual reality something consumers everywhere can enjoy.”
Mark Andreessen believes that the Oculus Rift will impact not only the playful video landscape, but also redefine the basic human experiences in areas such as film, the education, architecture or design. Andreessen also joined the board of Oculus alongside Chris Dixon.
“We believe Oculus will not only alter the gaming landscape but will redefine fundamental human experiences in areas like film, education, architecture, and design. Oculus is at the tip of the iceberg of its potential, and we’re incredibly excited to help them change the world,” said Andreessen in a statement.
The company also plans to support software developers who are contributing their time for the development of the hardware.
“They’re not just betting that their game will be successful, they’re also betting that Oculus will sell enough units to make their game profitable, and that’s a really big bet for a developer to make,” says Palmer Luckey, Oculus founder. “If a company is going to take out a lot of time from their development schedule to build a game in VR, we don’t want them to have to shoulder all of that risk themselves.”
This is a big step that crosses the development of Oculus Rift. The virtual reality headset is poised to change the way we play, work, and communicate with support of over 40,000 developers who are passionate and equally great partners joined for the development of the Oculus Rift.
The success of the Oculus Rift seems on track, because since the launch of the first development kits last April, over 40,000 were sold (an impressive figure). Moreover, a few weeks ago, John Carmack (one of the pioneers of 3D) was appointed technical director of Oculus VR studio to contribute to the development of the Oculus Rift. And like many other observers, he is convinced that the future belongs to the virtual reality.