It all started with a simple text I received last night. “What did Facebook buy?”
If I wasn’t in a church building at a band practice, I would have said a few things inside of a church that I would regret. Ultimately, Facebook spent $2b USD on a company leading the charge on modern virtual reality implementation, called Oculus VR. All for the sake of “getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow.”
The $2b USD buying price sounds like a blocker buy-out price to prevent Oculus VR from being picked up by a peripheral company or multiplying its valuation by taking in more venture capital funds. However, Zuck’s comments sound like that they’re looking to right a wrong they made that allowed so many games and services to operate through Facebook—to take a page from the Apple playbook of completely locking down the system and turning the Oculus Rift’s final retail product into the Facebook VR app marketplace vector.
Internet cool guy keekerdc has found a series of tweets from a certain well-known mobile developer who has already pulled the plug on any potential Oculus VR port that was picked up by the CEO of peripheral company Razer who then offered to “help out.”
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.
— Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014
Razer’s nonexistent VR product isn’t the only way out. Sony has been teasing its own VR headset that will eventually be deployed to the PlayStation 4. CCP Games’ dogfighting simulator originally designed for the Oculus Rift, Valkyrie, announced just this last week that they would also be developing the game for Sony’s Project Morpheus.
— David Reid (@CCP_Pokethulhu) March 19, 2014
I’d imagine that there will be plenty of game developers following CCP’s lead and announcing development for Sony’s VR headset in the coming weeks after the Facebook acquisition.
The reaction to a post made by Oculous founder Palmer Luckey in /r/oculus was met with some pretty negative reactions, but this particular comment by /u/AlexHD concisely explains gamers’ hesitation with the Facebook acquisition.
> By Gamers for Gamers
Was the original Kickstarter pitch. But now it’s
> We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences
What a shame.
Perhaps there was a little miscommunication involved at Facebook HQ about a question from Zuck…
“NO GODDAMNIT I SAID BUY ME *AN* OCULUS RIFT oh jesus christ it’s already out of control” – Mark Zuckerberg right now
— Chaz (@xarexerax) March 25, 2014