Oculus co-founder defends sale of company amidst backlash, says Facebook a better home than Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2014
After word broke that virtual reality pioneer Oculus will be bought by Facebook for $2 billion, enthusiasts responded negatively, questioning the merits of the deal and future of the Rift headset. That led the co-founder of Oculus to take to the Internet to defend the sale, in which he argued Facebook is a better landing spot for the company than Apple or Microsoft.




Oculus's Palmer Luckey took to Reddit this week after it was announced that Facebook would acquire the virtual reality headset maker for $2 billion in cash and stock. The company is best known for the Oculus Rift, head-worn 3D that allows users to experience immersive virtual reality in games and other applications.
"Facebook creeps me out." - Minecraft creator "Notch"
The Reddit thread quickly filled with negative comments from users who are unhappy about the sale of Oculus to Facebook. Many of them share the same sentiment as "Notch," the developer behind the popular game Minecraft, who revealed he was previously working on a version of the title for Oculus Rift, but would no longer do so.

"I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out," he wrote on Twitter.

One user on Reddit asked Luckey to "promise" that there wouldn't be any "specific Facebook tech tie-ins" with future products --?a request that the Oculus co-founder did, in fact, pledge to keep. Luckey then went on to defend the sale by saying he believes Facebook is a better partner than other major tech companies.

"Why would we want to sell to someone like (Microsoft) or Apple?" he asked. "So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have? Not a chance."

Those who supported the Oculus Rift and have purchased pre-release development kits are generally enthusiastic PC gamers, a group that saw the Rift as a potential new way to play and experience interactive content. Many of those who took to Reddit expressed concern that Facebook would take control of Oculus and use its technology to focus on social applications, which obviously are the focus for the publicly traded Facebook.

Luckey attempted to squash that line of thinking, and argued that the sale to Facebook may actually give Oculus more control of its own destiny. He said executives at Facebook have pledged to allow Oculus to operate independently from the social networking giant.


Legendary developer John Carmack is the Oculus VR CTO.


"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," he said. "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 roadmap, not control what we do."

The Oculus co-founder also promised that "good news" stemming from the acquisition is on the way, but that the details cannot be announced immediately. However, he did tease that with the $2 billion purchase by Facebook, Oculus plans to make custom hardware, hire more personnel, and make "huge investments in content."

While Luckey mentioned Apple by name in his comments, there have not been any rumors suggesting that the iPhone maker may have been interested in buying Oculus. Console maker Sony unveiled its own virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 last week, dubbed "Project Morpheus," suggesting that it too was not a prospective buyer.

While Apple has not publicly shown any interest in virtual reality, ex-executive Tony Fadell, now a Google employee through the company's acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest, revealed last year that Apple has experimented in secret with building augmented reality headgear. Fadell said Apple built prototype "visors" in its labs that made the wearer feel as though they were "sitting in a theater," but the company ultimately decided the technology wasn't worth it.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 107
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,547member
    Start the "Facebook out bid Apple" and "Facebook more innovative than Apple" stories.
  • Reply 2 of 107
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member

    Facebook was better than Microsoft and Apple because they gave you 2 billion dollars

  • Reply 3 of 107
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    I agree with the Minecraft creator. Facebook creeps me out too, which is why I have never signed up for Facebook and will never do so in the future either.

  • Reply 4 of 107
    It's important to slam Apple, even though Apple has nothing to do with the sale of Oculus. /s
  • Reply 5 of 107
    sporlosporlo Posts: 143member
    It's important to slam Apple, even though Apple has nothing to do with the sale of Oculus. /s
    Exactly. Disgust at Facebook buying them doesn't exist just because Apple didn't buy them. It's due to… wait for it… Facebook!
  • Reply 6 of 107
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,063member
    "Company which wants to buy better than company that doesn't."

    Well, Konfuzius and Sun Tzu became legendary with fortune cookie drivel like that... "Virtual Reality" is an apt tag at last.
  • Reply 7 of 107
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    "Why would we want to sell to someone like (Microsoft) or Apple?" he asked. "So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have? Not a chance."

    1) Yes! Apple and MS are much better equipped to do something with the technology.

    2) I would replace Apple with Sony since they make the PS4 and Apple wouldn't pay $2 billion for VR.

    3) What do you think Facebook is going to do with your VR tech? Not build their own vision of VR that suits their business model? Come on, Son!*

    4) You wanted a quick payday and FB offered you enough money. No shame in that so why not just admit it, Luckey.


    * Series finale of Psych is tonight.
  • Reply 8 of 107
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    FB is down almost 7% today so clearly Wall Street isn't buying what Zuck is selling. Quite honestly I think we're starting to see the tech bubble burst. King's IPO was a disaster with the stock down 15% today. In the last month Netflix is down over 16%, Facebook down 13%, Google down 6%. Year to date Amazon is down 13%, Twitter almost 30%. One of the few big tech stocks up this year is Microsoft.
  • Reply 9 of 107
    schlackschlack Posts: 672member
    perhaps facebook is looking to dev a game center like capability and oculus will integrate that platform
  • Reply 10 of 107

    It amazes me how polarizing technology has become.

    So much mistrust of Google and Facebook.

    So much frustration with Apple's heavy handed control.

    So much disdain for Samsung's blatant plagerism.

     

    At the same time these are mostly Love/Hate relationships.

  • Reply 11 of 107
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    [QUOTE]. . . Facebook a better home than Apple [/QUOTE]

    facebook is a better home for the NSA, too.
  • Reply 12 of 107
    boogabooga Posts: 1,073member
    I actually like this deal quite a bit. Oculus was never going to make it on their own since they couldn't even source displays in sufficient quantity to build their existing devkits, let alone ever go mainstream. In one fell swoop they've solved most of their problems and make it a zillion times more likely that their product will actually happen. I'm a huge Apple fan, but the Rift does not feel like an Apple product, and I'm sure as heck glad it didn't fall down the Microsoft well. The Rift has truly innovative potential in telepresence, art, and other forms of communication and I think Facebook and Oculus will make a good team.
  • Reply 13 of 107
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,149member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    FB is down almost 7% today so clearly Wall Street isn't buying what Zuck is selling. Quite honestly I think we're starting to see the tech bubble burst. King's IPO was a disaster with the stock down 15% today. In the last month Netflix is down over 16%, Facebook down 13%, Google down 6%. Year to date Amazon is down 13%, Twitter almost 30%. One of the few big tech stocks up this year is Microsoft.



    Facebook spends $16B to buy WhatsApp, which to me is money wasted, and then they blow (snort) another $2B on a company that has nothing remotely familiar with what FB does.  Maybe FB hopes to one day start some VR "FacebookWorld" and everyone can communicate via an Avatar in an alternate universe, yet no one actually meets face-to-face in the real world?



    Way to go Facebook.  Wutever

  • Reply 14 of 107
    websnapwebsnap Posts: 224member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    I agree with the Minecraft creator. Facebook creeps me out too, which is why I have never signed up for Facebook and will never do so in the future either.


     

    To be fair, that's what my mom says about the internet... just saying. If you are in the tech dev field, you go where your clients are. Most people on line are on Facebook. Hell, I know people who are staunch hold outs on mobile devices in their personal life, but have a Facebook account. 

  • Reply 15 of 107
    edit: no idea how to delete this comment; refer to the following comment for my reply.
  • Reply 16 of 107

    Another spam comment that I am having difficulty removing. How lovely. How about making a "delete" button obvious and easily accessible..?

  • Reply 17 of 107

    **** you Carmack and take Facebook and shove it! Nerdy little weasel look like you got a 40 lbs watermelon up your ass

  • Reply 18 of 107
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FuckHeadMaGee View Post

     

    **** you Carmack and take Facebook and shove it! Nerdy little weasel look like you got a 40 lbs watermelon up your ass


  • Reply 19 of 107

    This supposed "polarity" over technology has nothing to do with polarity over technology. The real polarizing force you are witnessing is the result of Capitalism. People are tired of being screwed over by rich and naive people who hide behind legal shields to use "their" property foolishly and selfishly.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

     

    It amazes me how polarizing technology has become.

    So much mistrust of Google and Facebook.

    So much frustration with Apple's heavy handed control.

    So much disdain for Samsung's blatant plagerism.

     

    At the same time these are mostly Love/Hate relationships.


  • Reply 20 of 107
    websnapwebsnap Posts: 224member

    I see FB buying Oculus like Microsoft getting into console gaming. It has nothing to do with their current money-makers but it's seen as a future market to expand into that the Facebook brand can benefit being apart of with out necessarily creating any synergy between them. Much like how office isn't an Xbox app. This is, to me, the first step in Facebook trying to be like google – expanding past their initial claim to fame.

Sign In or Register to comment.