March 28, 2014
Oculus Rift, the virtual technology headset created by 21-year old Palmer Luckey, has developed quite a loyal fan base in a short amount of time. When Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this week, gamers and developers responded with mixed reviews, many disappointed and critical of the move. Luckey responded on Reddit by explaining that he was also skeptical of a Facebook deal at first, but now believes the social giant could help bring virtual reality to the masses.
Palmer said that he began Oculus VR with the goal of making virtual reality accessible and affordable to everyone. In a similar way, Facebook was founded with the hopes of making the world a more connected place. Palmer believes that the goals of both companies align well with each other.
Via Reddit, Palmer explains that the merger will bring, “very little changes day-to-day at Oculus, although we’ll have substantially more resources to build the right team.”
“This is a special moment for the gaming industry,” he writes. “Oculus’ somewhat unpredictable future just became crystal clear: virtual reality is coming, and it’s going to change the way we play games forever.”
Despite Palmer’s heartfelt post, many game developers are still devastated. “I never would have backed them if I thought this was even a remote possibility,” wrote programmer Chip Collier. “I’m literally sad because I feel like a promising future was really just a hopeless dream. VR has just been set back another 20-30 years.”
Similar sentiments appeared on Reddit:
- “I have unsubscribed.”
- “I will be cancelling my preorder, I will not make games with the Rift, and I am not associating myself with a Facebook affiliated company.”
- “I am really upset by this. I had nothing but grief as a developer of Facebook titles, and the direction and actions of the Facebook company are not ones I can support.”
“But the reactions haven’t all been negative,” notes The Guardian. “Amid the anti-corporate clamour, there have been optimistic voices.”
“This is a smart move for Oculus,” says Rami Ismail, co-founder of Dutch studio Vlambeer. “We may all know of them in the tech scene, but outside of our bubble nobody has ever heard of them. If VR is to be established as a market, we need the average consumer to know of it, so having Facebook and Sony in the fray is good news.”