Valve Software, the videogame developer and creator/operator of the industry’s largest PC game digital distribution platform, will unveil its own virtual reality hardware next week at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. The company has not yet announced whether the system will see a commercial release, but it is actively meeting with content partners at the show, generally an indicator that it does plan to do so.
Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie was the most buzzed-about moment of last year’s Oscars — reaching a level of popularity so quickly that it managed to break Twitter. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that shot was actually the second selfie she took during the show.
For Josh Spector, managing director of digital media for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the night-and-day difference between the two shots was a victory. DeGeneres taking a selfie, of course, was planned well in advance of the show’s start. But when the first one didn’t take off, Spector and his team adjusted plans for the second — and in doing so, they managed to capture lightning in a bottle.
It’s not exactly a revelation that Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool for business. Sixty-two percent of the 1,000 U.S. residents recently polled by G/O Digital say they visit Facebook to learn more about small businesses. Beyond that, 30 percent of those people claimed they visit a company’s Facebook page several times before physically venturing to the business.
Finding a way to best capitalize on Facebook isn’t always easy—or cheap: The average price per Facebook ad increased 123 percent in the second quarter.
Interacting with customers and fans of your company can be a tremendous marketing tool. It can also be a recipe for disaster. One slipup—or, in countless cases, a social media manager accidentally tweeting to the company account instead of their own—can make companies accidental laughingstocks (like the time in 2011 when the American Red Cross Twitter feed announced “When we drink, we do it right #gettngslizzard”).
Now, Oculus is firing back.
Samsung is reportedly working on its own VR headset, which would compete against the Oculus Rift and Sony’s “Project Morpheus.” Even crazier? It could ship sometime this year.
After making legal threats earlier this month, ZeniMax Media — the parent company of game publisher Bethesda — has filed suit against Oculus, saying the maker of the anticipated virtual reality Rift headset illegally used software developed by the game maker to create the device.
While any price tag that hefty for an unfinished, unproven technology is bound to spark investor second-guessing, it’s hardly a surprise that this purchase is being especially scrutinized. Like 3-D, virtual reality is a concept that has been touted for years, but has always failed to live up to its potential—and historically been rejected by consumers.
Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of the virtual reality headset company shocked gamers and game makers alike, who worry that the new owners will lessen the impact Oculus has on the videogame industry.
The $2 billion deal, which is broken into $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion worth of Facebook stock, represents a seismic shift in the gaming space, as the upcoming Oculus Rift has been widely viewed as one of gaming’s most exciting upcoming technologies.