And it’s goodnight from her: the 10 biggest news stories of 2014

By Staff, Monday, 22 December 2014 09:04 GMT

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Facebook plops down $2 billion for Oculus VR

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Of all the companies in the world to purchase Oculus VR and the tech behind its Rift headset, no one in their wildest dreams would have expected it to be Facebook. What in the world would a social media network known for over-sharing and FarmVille want with virtual reality tech and why would it spend $2 billion to get it? We still don’t know exactly what Mark Zuckerberg and co. have planned for Oculus Rift, but the site’s founder has some ideas, starting with making the world more “open and connected.”

“Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible,” he said regarding the company. “Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Zuckerberg said that Oculus VR would continue operating independently within Facebook, but it remains to be seen how long that will last; especially if the tech doesn’t become a “meaningful computing platform” by selling somewhere between the 50-100 million mark.

Minecraft studio bought by Microsoft for $2.5 billion

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When rumor of Microsoft buying Mojang first surfaced, many people were left scratching their heads as to why the company’s founder would sell such a lucrative business venture. I mean, come on: 17,452,515 people have purchased the PC/Mac version alone, not to mention the number of copies sold on Android, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. There was a method to Markus “Notch” Persson’s madness, though: he wanted to preserve his “sanity”.

That’s as good enough reason as any, and Microsoft didn’t walk away with the studio and Minecraft IP for cheap either. As of November 6, the Xbox maker officially owns the company and those who purchased Minecraft on rival platforms won’t be left out in the cold.

Microsoft plans to keep Minecraft available for rival products – in other words its is honoring Mojang’s current contracts – but don’t expect future games in the series to be released on PlayStation platforms.

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Twitch bought by Amazon for $910 million

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2014 was the year of billion dollar acquisitions, and Twitch being bought by Amazon was no exception, despite the $970 million price tag being just shy of the mark. That’s still more money than any of us will ever see, and it is hoped that Amazon will be a much better company than Google, which was previously rumored to be eyeing the streaming channel. Microsoft was also rumored at one point to have been part of the bidding process.

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear assured fans that being part of the Amazon family was a good thing, as it would allow Twitch to “create tools and services faster than we could have independently.” Hopefully, the company’s original vision will remain intact and videogamephiles can stream their curse-laden gaming prowess and not so great prowess unhindered for many a year to come.

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