The announcement of Oculus’s acquisition by Facebook for $2 billion has left the majority of previously optimistic onlookers feeling pessimistic. The Oculus Rift was posited to revolutionize gaming virtual reality as the first consumer affordable solution literally brought to reality. However, Facebook is not a game company, but instead a social media company driven by usage and advertisements and known to data-mine and intrude online privacy. The recently announced acquisition was sickening enough for Markus “Notch” Persson to announce on Twitter that he has dropped any deal to bring Minecraft to the Oculus Rift.Notch later took to his blog detailing the hopefulness he felt up until the acquisition and the twisted vision he sees from Facebook.
Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.
Notch was one of Oculus Rift’s biggest and most prestiged backers early on in the project. His announcement encompasses many of the same negative feelings many onlookers have toward the acquisition. At the time of this news, the formal announcement of the acquisition on Reddit as presented by Oculus has an approval of 38%. The Oculus team andFacebook will have to do much to restore confidence in the project by proving or demonstrating that the original vision for the Oculus Rift won’t be lost, that Facebook’s shady policies won’t become integrated into that vision.