Oculus VR and Facebook are building a 1 billion-person MMO

Oculus MMO

There are over 7 billion people on this funny looking marble, and over 1 billion of them are active Facebook users. The social networking company and its recent acquisition, Oculus VR, want to put them all in headsets and have them play the world’s biggest MMO, in VR. 

Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on Tuesday, Oculus VR’s Brendan Iribe told attendees: “This is going to be an MMO where we want to put 1 billion people in VR” after announcing the company’s new project. 

It’s such a large number that it starts to lose significance. To put things in perspective, that’s almost 100 times the number of people who played World of Warcraft at its peak, the most successful MMO to date and one of the most popular games globally.

And while games like Farmville have leveraged Facebook’s popularity to get large numbers of people playing, it’s not got even close to that number.

To hit that number, Iribe says, Oculus VR will have to go beyond gaming. He cites smart phones, which were bought 1 billion times last year, as an example of the near-ubiquitous tech that the company wants to emulate.

It’ll be difficult to persuade even a portion of that number of people to splash out on an Oculus Rift for a social experience. Facebook requires only a browser on any old device, a headset is a harder sell. Especially when, unlike a phone, you can’t exactly take it with you anywhere.

This mammoth undertaking is a long way off, Iribe accepts. In the mean time, Oculus VR will continue to work on the headset for use in gaming and less complicated social networking, like simply calling someone on it.

Cheers, The Guardian.