Oculus has been on quite the hiring spree as of late, with over a hundred positions currently advertised on the company’s career website aimed at bringing hardware and software engineers into the Seattle area. Now, a report from real estate analysis firm BuildZoom estimates parent company Facebook has spent over $88 million in Redmond-based labs and office space for Oculus this year alone.

To arrive at the number, BuildZoom analyzed 180+ filed, issued, and finaled (inspection-passing) building permits for Oculus projects provided by the City of Redmond, which includes 11 buildings across the city—right in Microsoft’s backyard.

An additional 72,000 sqft (~6700 m²) and a 200,000 ft² (~18.500 m²) leased location in Redmond haven’t been counted in the overall estimation.

Overall, the firm maintains Facebook has spent more than $106 million on Redmond-based labs and offices since it began its expansion into the Seattle area back in July 2015, with the $88.3 million of it spent in 2018 so far.

Image courtesy BuildZoom

BuildZoom includes some healthy caveats in their estimations, which could put the final cost at a higher sum: building permits don’t reflect all of the project’s costs, and the quoted amounts are “minimum estimates and may not include permits for demolition work, temporary structures, FF&E, engineering, or other public infrastructure improvements.”

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Additionally, the firm says the data “may not be exhaustive and is based on what has been made available by the City of Redmond, Washington.”

Speaking to Road to VR earlier this year regarding its recent VR/AR hiring spree, an Oculus spokesperson said this: “Overall, the growing number of job openings across AR and VR are an indication of the level of commitment that Facebook/Oculus is making in the VR space.”

So it appears Facebook is putting both feet forward as they continue investment in Oculus, bringing more dedicated VR/AR labs and offices to what’s quickly become America’s next big tech hub.

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  • Firestorm185

    Seattle: Shattered Realities, a new Quantic Dream game coming in 2020. xD
    Very cool to see that Seattle is about to become a VR city in one way or another!

  • care package

    They spent 90 million to bring main stream media into facebook lol.

    • Bob

      Have a little more respect please. Regardless of their intentions they are investing in Virtual Reality and in turn are rapidly advancing the technology in this sector. That’s a boon for all VR developers and consumers and will positively impact the industry as a whole in terms of business competition.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Haters gonna hate… despite some of FB’s more shady practices, at the end of the day people who are into VR should be glad that Zuckerberg sees and believes in the potential of it and is seriously investing. A company with as high a profile as FB makes the rest of the world sit up and take notice… this is _very_ good for VR.

        • CURTROCK

          Haters gonna hate, indeed. Let them hate. Oculus/FB is driving the VR industry.

          • Trenix

            In regards to price, nothing else.

        • Sandy Wich

          I don’t like the man, but I do like his commitment to VR.

      • care package

        Holy Shit did ya hear? Those morons at faceplant are gonna piss away 90 million dollars to force faceplant users to watch the ‘anti-trump media’, ’cause no one is watching it otherwise. That 90 mil should have went to VR. What a waste. BTW, f’ you Bob :D

      • Trenix

        Money doesn’t always push innovation. It’s also absurd to suggest that Facebook is the reason VR technology is rapidly advancing. Mark wanted to push VR but not the way most of us were thinking. Oculus Go was a perfect example of this.

        His intentions are sketchy, gaming doesn’t seem to be on his mind, which majority of the consumers want. There is a reason why Vive is dominating in VR and not the Oculus. The Oculus Rift’s main attraction is it’s price and the controllers, otherwise nothing else. It’s not leading, not dominating performance-wise whatsoever.

        • Get Schwifty!

          I think you need to think about this… gaming is only part of VR, and you are simply mistaken if you think Vive is “dominating” VR, it’s basically a dead-heat between Oculus and Vive with other players slowly coming on board. I own both, and I can tell you for a simple fact the ergonomics and HMD outpace Vive in real use; the only real advantage Vive has (and it’s a slim one at this point) is its Lighthouse tracking. The reality is HTC is really not doing very well overall and it’s future as a viable company in general much less VR is somewhat in question. I’m by no means a lover of FB, but it’s clear that they stand to do more over time than HTC which seems content with simply wands after all this time… not a company which is at this stage pushing the boundaries all that much outside of trying to maintain higher prices with nominal differences in capability which is typical of a phone company outlook.

          • Trenix

            Gaming is not just part of VR, it basically the only thing which VR can excel at that any regular computer cannot. That and also using VR for professional use. VR is everything to do with immersion. The Oculus Rift outside of it’s controllers is a piece of garbage and not even worth its price. God rays are intense, the trackers are outdated and terrible without proper mounting and a third sensor, and it uses foam that soaks up sweat, which is uncomfortable and disgusting. The oculus go looks like the oculus rift, what a joke.

            Also tracking is extremely important for VR. The Oculus rift with two sensors is far worse than inside-out tracking for crying out loud. It makes the immersive controllers it has, completely useless. I mean I can go on and on about all the issues of the Oculus and Facebook’s overall stupid business decisions, but the future of VR is gaming, not cheap devices with crappy controllers, apps, and social media. This why I have more faith in HTC and other companies.

            If I wanted to surf the web and watch movies and videos, I’d use my computer that has maxed out performance with a 4k resolution. Most customers aren’t stupid, VR is not good enough for general use outside of gaming.

          • Get Schwifty!

            You sir are nuts – sorry, but true and simply do not understand the full scope of which you speak and the people really involved in the industry say otherwise on most of your points. Good say sir.

          • Trenix

            I mentioned professional use multiple times, perhaps you’re illiterate. Professional use and gaming are intended for immersion, otherwise simulation. Also keep dreaming, the two sensors for the Oculus Rift are trash, I’ve tried them and tried to work with them. They’re inferior to Vive’s base stations and that’s a fact.

            You’re not going to be using the Oculus Rift for professional use with it’s garbage tracking, but keep going on the facebook bandwagon. Oculus Go made me laugh. It didn’t even sell a million units and I’m sure that majority returned that crappy device. Mark believed Oculus Go would of been a big hit! Well he’s a complete idiot. So be my guest, invest into the idiot who doesn’t know how to bring in customers in VR.

        • Mei Ling

          Erm what are you talking about? The Vive isn’t “dominating” in VR at all; that term would suggest their market share is through the roof in comparison to other companies which isn’t the case. Have a look at the charts friend…

  • sfmike

    Oculus Go has revitalized VR so good for them on running with it.

    • Trenix

      Highly disagree. Oculus Go along with mobile headsets are highly inferior in regards to gaming because they restrict you to a single crappy controller. They’re not even optimal for professional use. I got bored with my headset after about a day. I’m pretty sure they’re more used for porn than anything else.

      • Get Schwifty!

        OMG… its not about gaming kids!!! If VR becomes entrenched as it slowly but surely will, mainstream gaming will come on board. if you think promoting VR as a gaming-centric thing is the key you are sadly mistaken how this all works. Computers for business led the way with gaming only coming in later significantly (it did help with advancing, but it had to hit a threshold to do so). The tone of your comments shows a personal issue here that is blinding you to the business realities… and don’t think HTC doesn’t sell your info or any other non-US, far-Asian entity, they are the last people to respect individual rights…

        • Trenix

          VR will not surpass a computer anytime soon, it’s a joke if you think so. It’s already difficult as it is to run a 8k monitor with a high refresh rate with the graphics cards we have today. Now imagine that on the tiny little headset? Yeah good luck. To use VR for general use, wait another decade at most. Computers had a different purpose, they weren’t completely meant for gaming to begin with.

          VR and a computer offer two entirely different things. One is meant for immersion and the other is meant for general use. Until VR headsets become crystal clear like a monitor you are mostly going to use your computer, TV, or projector. Even then, certain things you would most likely continue using a computer for, like typing documents, coding, and so on.

          Also the Oculus Go was not a good step forward, it pushed people to try VR and experience something that wasn’t worth buying. Most people’s experience with mobile devices is that it got boring after a few hours. Why? Well because a computer does everything it does and better and even more. Again, Mark is a moron.

          I tried a bunch of devices of VR and I’m planning on buying more and trying more. VR gaming is the biggest attraction to VR. The gaming community wants it, they should be the targeted market. However, as of now, it’s very expensive for the average person which is why the oculus is getting purchased, along with these crappy mobile devices.

      • Ragbone

        Agreed.

      • Mei Ling

        Your opinion doesn’t reflect the opinion of others. Stop trying to impose yourself as the Holy Messiah of VR who knows it all because you don’t and don’t try to say you do because then that makes you the complete asshole which is what you are edging real close to.

        Oculus go was released as a stopgap and not a fully fledged platform for extremely immersive VR experiences. They are working on the next iteration and haven’t stopped working so I’m not really sure how they don’t play a part in the future of VR in that little head of yours..

        • Trenix

          Are your feelings hurt? You need a safespace? They pushed everything on this stupid standalone that was a failure compared to what they expected because they don’t have a slightest clue of what VR should be used for and what people wanted to use it for. Proof? Look at their sales. Their upgraded headset, which we know very little about, has been said that it will come out in the near future, in 2020. Go and wait for that, while I wait for a company to come out with the next generation VR headset which can very likely be released in 2019.

  • This spending is a great news for the whole XR ecosystem. We’ll see the results in the next years!

  • impurekind

    It will all be worth it in the long run, just like Microsoft’s 2.5 billion spend on Minecraft, which seemed huge at the time, was worth it.