Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe was a guest at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday and spoke about an idea they have been thinking about; creating an Massively Multiplayer Online Experience (MMO) for a billion users.
“This is going to be an MMO where we want to put a billion people in VR”
He also said that this is going to take a bigger network than exists in the world today,” but getting together with Facebook is a first step in the right direction as Facebook has about 1.3 billion users today.
Important is also that he mentioned that this idea was one of the reason they decided to sell Oculus to Facebook.
They want to reach as many people as possible, especially those who aren’t really gamers.
“We know with Oculus, with a virtual world, if you’re putting on this pair of glasses and you’re gonna be face-to-face communicating with people, you’re gonna be jumping in and out of this new set of virtual worlds, this is gonna be the largest MMO ever made,”
“This is gonna be an MMO where we want to put a billion people in VR. And a billion person virtual world MMO is gonna require a bigger network than exists today. Why not start with Facebook and their infrastructure, and their team and their talent that they’ve built up?”
A lot of people, myself included, have been talking about the possibility of Facebook and Oculus were planning to build a virtual online world, it now seems this indeed is the case.
In the chat he even calls it the ‘Metaverse‘.
As we speak they are visiting universities and recruiting the best of the best, getting students involved, asking them to help them create the new virtual reality world.
It is difficult to predict where this is going and how fast, but if they succeeded in creating an online Virtual World where the users can actually build and do what they want, they will turn out to be a huge competition for Second Life and High Fidelity.
It is still early days and we don’t have to get worried yet.
But this is big.
And I can’t help wondering if the Oculus-Facebook team are now looking at both Second Life and High Fidelity.
Regardless of the current state of both, there is plenty of interesting stuff there to buy, borrow or steal if you want to start your own Virtual world.
In the chat Mr. Iribe also said that Facebook promised them that although bought by their company, Oculus would be able to remain independent (like Instragram) and could decide to use or not use any part of Facebook.
You can watch the full interviews here at the Techcrunch website, a few interesting things about the general future of VR are being talked about as well.
As I wrote before, more and more people are now thinking that VR is going to become part of our lives, even if you’re not a gamer.
Mona Eberhardt said:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t TechCrunch among the tech news outlets that have been telling us for years now that Second Life is dead and buried, after the overhyping done by His Philipness, Emperor of Bullshitia, deflated like a balloon that was let go before someone tied a knot to its end?
Sorry. I can’t be bothered to believe a word of this hype, and the reasons are as follows:
First of all, Facebook’s stance in the nymwars. Virtual worlds are one of the primary applications for avatar identity, and Facebook simply refuses to accept and respect this notion, because it sells personally identifiable data to spammers – er, I mean respectable and responsible marketing businesses – and groups of fine folks like the NSA. Score one for the “evil” Linden Lab here.
Second, one billion users for virtual reality? Really? Wait a minute. So, they’re telling us that there are one billion people out there that have approximately $300 lying around, thinking “oh gee, like, what would be best to waste this money on? Ah, yes! A pair of VR goggles that I won’t use anywhere else!” And they’re also telling us that there are a billion people out there that either already have, or are willing to purchase, computers with considerable 3D graphics power? Are they on drugs? Or do they think we are that stupid? If they told us that Mark Zuckerberg is pregnant with twins and that Palmer Luckey is part of the Epsilon Team and hails from Andromeda, it’d be far more believable.
Third: Been there, done that, and have the commemorative thong panty to prove it. I’ve been there when His Philipness, Emperor of Bullshitia, was yapping about the “3D internet” and pushed for LL’s corporate pipedream (which blew up in the faces of the Lab’s board members). What makes anyone believe virtual world oldtimers like me would fall for such an obvious piece of bullshit? Seriously, this talk is OK for impressing business consultants, stock exchange gamblers and people who have zero knowledge of VR history, but anyone with a brain (which automatically excludes business consultants) would say “yeah, right”.
Right on the spot, Mona:)
Nathan Adored said:
I want High Fidelity to be the next big virtual world, I do NOT NOT *NOT* want some Facebook-affiliated thing to be the next big virtual world. And I want High Fidelity to be the next big world largely because it’s open-source and decentralized, and because, for the sake or our future, we need to all gravitate towards a future Internet where EVERYthing has gone back to being decentralized and open source, and where the USERS own the system, and to move ABSOLUTELY AWAY FROM ANY system where *megacorps* own and run it all! We need to move AWAY from things likie G+ and TOWARDS things like Diaspora. I HOPE we’re not looking at another instance of a great new, revolutionary idea that’s open-source and was there first (i.e. Diaspora) getting trampled all over and copycatted by a big megacorp (i.e. Google+), only now it’s HiFi getting its well-deserved place in the sun stolen by Facebook copycatting it and acting like THEY got their first, and then it going like gangbusters and leaving our hope for a totally OPEN SOURCE version behind in the gorram dust! oO
Nathan Adored said:
Okay, had more time to look into it and to think about it, and it doesn’t sound to me anymore like Facebook are pulling a Google+ on HyFy like I at first thought. They’re basically just saying that within the next 10 to 20 years, there COULD be 1 billion people in a coming virtual world. In 2034, a virtual world, or a *group* of *interconnected* virtual worlds, with 1 billion people across it is largely plausible. Or they could fall well short of that in 2034 and have 500 million there instead, but even 500 million, or come to that 250 million people, would be nothing to sneeze at…. and if even a small subset of those hundreds of millions of people are buying Oculus Rift headsets, Zuckerburg and company would be making quite a mint.
Moe Capp said:
Is the Oculus-Facebook team looking at both Second Life and High Fidelity? Well they certainly *know* about them. Palmer Luckey, Philip Rosedale and Ebbe Altberg are even all speakers at this month’s SVVR conference. Palmer Luckey has talked about his experiences in Second Life in several interviews and it seems to have served as some inspiration for him.
Oculus has John Carmack, 3D programming legend and open source advocate, who was as far back as the late 90’s talking about building out a proper “metaverse”. Carmack has the skills and resources to finally build his own virtual worlds platform, I just can’t see how it will intersect directly in any way with either High Fidelity or Linden Lab.
The High Fidelity model of VR is hosting it on anyone’s machine that hooks up to the network. Oculus so far has indicated they want to repeat the Linden Lab model and host cyberspace on their own (now Facebook’s) servers. These are two very different paths with intriguing possibilities, both with unique strengths.
Ordep Otnemicsan said:
I think Mark is right because the glasses let the whole world crazy to try … and then we’ll want to experience over and over…