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.