Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, has spend some time responding to the generally negative reactions to the news of Facebook buying the company.
In general people seem to be very unhappy about the situation, many call Facebook evil… on Facebook.
The main problem people seem to have with this acquisition is that they don’t like Facebook, it is a company few of us trust, that has done some rather unpleasant things and has no connection whatsoever with proper gaming.
Personally I think that Facebook is just planning to get in on the action, Zuckerberg is very interested in where VR is going because he isn’t stupid and knows it is going to be big.
I feel that Facebook is already planning a VR world or platform, something like Facebook or Second Life and it makes sense to try and help Oculus to get bigger and better, faster.
I also think they are very interested in VR “television”, using a 360 degrees camera to allow users to be somewhere else, Live.
And although this could become a problem for Second Life, I doubt it will be a problem for VR in general.
Yes Facebook is only in it for the money, but there are many ways to make money with VR without having to actually take over the entire industry.
One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.
Palmer Luckey has said that he would probably not be too excited about Facebook buying Oculus but he sold the company anyway and he has also said that he was sure that many people will change their opinion on this news within a year.
A lot of people are upset, and I get that. If you feel the same way a year from now, I would be very surprised.
What are they planning?
Of course the cynic in me is saying that we’re all just hearing the corporate PR talk from both sides but I also feel that Palmer really truly loves VR and is still idealistic about the whole thing.
I think that he tried very hard to make sure that Oculus will remain his baby and as independent as the deal allows it to remain.
In the end I think that the new possibilities of this deal and that it will make the evolution of VR go faster and become cheaper are the reasons that made him sign.
Not (just) the money.
I’m obsessed with VR. I spend every day pushing further, and every night dreaming of where we are going. Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined we’d come so far so fast.
I am willing to give Palmer the benefit of the doubt.
I think that it is too early to say what will happen.
I don’t like Facebook as a company but am not (yet) sure that they will cast such a dark evil shadow over VR.
Palmer Luckey has been answering questions and comments on Reddit
He started with posting his entire ‘The future of VR’ story there and then replied to the torrent of negative reactions.
I have just quoted a few of the more interesting things being said, but please feel free to go read them all here on Reddit.
You will not need a Facebook account to use or develop for the Rift.
I guarantee that you won’t need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift.
I am sorry that you are disappointed. To be honest, if I were you, I would probably have a similar initial impression! There are a lot of reasons why this is a good thing, many of which are not yet public.
This deal lets us dedicate a lot of resources to developer relations, technical help, engine optimizations, and our content investment/publishing/sales platform. We are not going to track you, flash ads at you, or do anything invasive.
This acquisition/partnership gives us more control of our destiny, not less! We don’t have to compromise on anything, and can afford to make decisions that are right for the future of virtual reality, not our current revenue. Keep in mind that we already have great partners who invested heavily in Oculus and got us to where we are, so we have not had full control of our destiny for some time. Facebook believes in our long term vision, and they want us to continue executing on our own roadmap, not control what we do. I would never have done this deal if it meant changing our direction, and Facebook has a good track record of letting companies work independently post-acquisition.
There is a lot of related good news on the way. I am swamped right now, but I do plan on addressing everyone’s concerns. I think everyone will see why this is so incredible when the big picture is clear.
I am 100% certain that most people will see why this is good in the long term.
This deal specifically lets us greatly lower the price of the Rift.
‘Just promise me there will be no specific Facebook tech tie-ins.’
1) We can make custom hardware, not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. That is insanely expensive, think hundreds of millions of dollars. More news soon.
2) We can afford to hire everyone we need, the best people that fit into our culture of excellence in all aspects.
3) We can make huge investments in content. More news soon.
We now have the resources to put a lot of money into indie VR content, you will be seeing some good news on that very soon.
We have the resources to create custom hardware now, not just rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. There is a lot of good news on the way that is not yet public, so believe me, things will become a lot more clear over time.
We have had to answer to people since the Kickstarter, and even more so after raising two rounds of funding from investment partners to hire the people we need. This deal gives us more freedom to make the right decisions, not less!
Facebook has a good track record for letting companies operate independently post-acquisition, and they are going to do the same for us. Trust me on this, I would not have done the deal otherwise.
It is an acquisition, but we will be operating independently. Our ongoing relationship really is more like a partnership.