— Homestar Runner (@homestarrunner) April 1, 2014
Watch it or stop using the Internet. WATCH IT OR STOP USING THE INTERNET.
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
Patrick Howell O’Neill wrote up a great overview of the success that was ESL’s recently-concluded IEM Katowice event. ESL claims that the four-day stop in Poland was the most watched European-based esports event to date. While the numbers in the infographic released by ESL really do tell the story of a great success, something else caught my eye and my mind sort of started doing the thing that could be called thinking.
Do the companies that publish and support other games that are on the Intel Extreme Masters’ series see the event as a success for their game’s community? I’m sure that the viewership numbers alone are probably affirmation enough to allow the companies to pat themselves on the back for allowing their games to be included in these tournaments. The question I’m curious about: excluding the distorted prize purse of the StarCraft 2 winner-take-all event, does the level of investment that the companies put forward relatively resemble what actually goes into the community? If not, is that a big problem for the future of these games as esports or is it simply the circle of life in a twisted economically unstable sense?
I’m not exactly sure that I’m going to find nice results if I start looking. Even estimating the cost benefit of a single tournament at a community levels shows that the community puts in considerably more money than what is paid out (a tip of the hat to keekerdc for sharing an estimate). Besides, the whole bit relies on tournament organizers not completely being financially sound enough to raise money that isn’t dependent on things like contest and entry fees, which hasn’t really been the case at all, as far as I know.
In any case, more questions than opinions above, but I just felt like I needed to write that out. Link post format working? Link post format working.