Cliff Bleszinski calls Notch a "pouty kid" for canceling Minecraft VR

Former Epic Games dev writes lengthy blog post discussing the recent Oculus/Facebook sale, says Notch's decision to cancel Minecraft VR is a "bratty and petty move."

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Industry veteran Cliff Bleszinski, who most notably worked at Epic Games for 20 years, has written a lengthy blog post addressing the $2 billion Oculus/Facebook deal wherein he also calls Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson a "pouty kid" for canceling the virtual reality version of the sandbox game.

Bleszinski made clear upfront that he participated in an early round of venture capital funding for Oculus VR and said he stands to make a "very sizable chunk of money" from Facebook's buyout. With that out of the way, Bleszinski said he was a believer in VR when he first saw the tech and he remains one today.

"When that dust settles my heart says that I really, genuinely care about VR and I want to experience and enjoy it myself, and I have faith that it will still happen, and it will be better than ever," Bleszinski said.

Many have criticized Facebook in the past for being intrusive with regards to the private information it collects from users. Zuckerberg is not blind to this concern, but said the "Internet Outrage Machine loves to pile on something like this."

"Maybe Zuck sees what everyone else has seen--the future--and wants to make sure it's more than just great games and saw that it would add value to his business?" he said.

Oculus VR was already doing well on its own, but its sale to Facebook will accelerate the growth of the tech and help it build out an ecosystem, Bleszinski said.

"They needed an ecosystem. IF their system is going to be (hopefully) a dedicated system instead of a (ugh) peripheral they need their version of whatever the app store would be. Your device is only as good as the store and community around it," Bleszinski said. "If users can’t say shut up and take my money, if developers can't post their work then the device will ultimately flounder. Facebook can assist with this sort of thing, as well as having a multi billion user reach. That’s pretty damned important."

Overall, Bleszinski said if "programming god" John Carmack (a new hire at Oculus VR) and Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey believe a sale to Facebook is the right idea, then that "should tell you something."

"Palmer is the classic example of the old adage of 'do what you really love and the money will follow.' Know what? Palmer’s going to keep doing what he loves because he believes in VR. It's his dream. Once the dust settles, and maybe he buys a nicer home, or an Italian sports car, guess what he's going to do? Get right back to work."

Bleszinski further explained that when a company like Oculus VR raises money from venture capitalists, their end-game is often to one day get bought out. He said it might have been "interesting" for a dedicated gaming company like Microsoft to buy Oculus, but this would have limited the tech's potential to affect a myriad of other industries.

"I want games, but I also want virtual tourism. PTSD treatment. End of life quality comfort care improvements. Treatment for a variety of fears. Architectural visualization. Pilot training. Scuba training. The list simply goes on, and on, and on," Bleszinski said. "Start to imagine a VR experience that’s more social where you can sit, say, in a virtual IMAX with your best friends who all live in different cities and things start getting incredibly intriguing."

Also in the blog post, Bleszinski addressed the Kickstarter backer outrage over Oculus VR's sale to Facebook. Simply put, the crowdfunding site's terms say nothing about backers getting equity, he pointed out.

"Apparently some folks don’t understand that donating to a Kickstarter gets you whatever reward you’re told when you donate, you don't get equity, you don't get to participate in the fruits of a sale of a company like that," he said. "Crowdfunding can only take you so far, especially when you're doing something this ambitious. 'I donated money to add value to a company that was eventually sold!' Well, that’s kind of how business works, folks, hate to be the bearer of bad news."

Lastly, Bleszinski took a shot at Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, who canceled a VR version of the sandbox game in the wake of the sale.

"Notch, your cancelling Minecraft makes you look like a pouty kid who is taking his ball and going home. It's a bratty and petty move and it saddens me greatly," he said.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

510 comments
derekscorp
derekscorp

Mark Zuckerberg is a shady a**hole, and nothing is going to change that.

mariocerame
mariocerame

Cliff Bleszinski lost all credibility with the petty jabs.  I am not a donor, but of course I understand their emotional reaction.

jeff_t97
jeff_t97

the difference between instagram and whats app theyre both social networking apps so naturally theres no big worry but oculus is completely different and theres a good reason to worry about what facebook is gonna do with it.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I'm really tired of every other article at Gamespot being about Cliff B, or Peter Molyneux. Nobody cares about these two douches anymore.

Gankstar_VX84
Gankstar_VX84

it just means they will make vr facebook games haunted house ringu rip off shit. it's no surprise considering what sony's unveiled, sure it may not have the scope or power that ovr has but lets be fair it has the base. 


most people hate facebook and do so for a reason, if anything they should have joined microsoft.

uncle5555
uncle5555

Coming soon from Cliffy B - "Cliffy B's, You are Me in VR"


How long can you withstand the awesomeness?  Includes such events as staring in the mirror and combing hair and admiring oneself for hours and saying ego inflated sayings as "I'm so awesome because.." 

All rendered in Cliffy B's Awesome Engine. 


Coming soon to Oculus VR.

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

Now people seem to be blowing Notch's comment way out of proportion.

All he said was that he's canceling Minecraft for OR, because Facebook creeps him out and doesn't believe Facebook will be true to what Oculus could have been. 

That's it! I don't see how this is bratty, pouty, or whatever adjective Bleszinski would like to insert.

All he did was express his opinion because he can and because that's who he is. He's always calling out companies (not calling out people as CliffyB apparently likes to) on their bullshit in the industry, and I applaud him for it.

Someone has to stand up for the indie developers that can't speak out for fear of being shunned by the industry for doing so.

grenadehh
grenadehh

Shut your mouth Cliff. Notch cancelled it for professional and personal reasons. Facebook as a company has grown into something ridiculous and no one supports or likes Facebook. As his creation, it's entirely his prerogative not to support a technology now being handled by a company drenched in negative publicity.

fabz
fabz

Bleszinski, Carmack and Luckey all stand to gain huge amounts of money from this deal. I'm not surprised they are overwhelmingly in favor. What is disappointing is their unashamed reaction to criticism. They ought to take an honest look at themselves. 

I think they sold out. It's as simple as that. I don't have a problem if they admit that honestly, but these farcical attempts at swaying opinion are a joke.


I have a lot of respect for Markus Persson and completely agree with his view. Only someone blinded by dollar signs like the three amigos I listed above would not be able to see what is clear for the rest of the gaming community. This deal sucks, not because of anything to do with Kickstarter or equity. It sucks because a hugely promising technology has been bought by a company that most people don't trust (and many despise). 

I would have been quite happy if this deal had been reached with Nvidia, AMD, Microsoft, Asus, etc., but Facebook? As far as I'm concerned Oculus is dead. It is no longer a VR option I would ever use and I applaud Notch for taking the same view. I hope he successfully releases Minecraft VR on another VR tech.

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

Thinking this was simply and purely a petty, bratty move is in and of itself petty, puerile thinking.


"Facebook creeps me out" is just Swedish for "Show me the money, Mr. Zuckerberg."

hystavito
hystavito

"(ugh) peripheral"

Yeah that's so terrible, a device that isn't tied to a service, so ugh.


"Your device is only as good as the store and community around it,"

Yeah a community is important, but you gotta have that "store" too, you know the place where you buy stuff :).


You know if you make a standalone simple peripheral, some kind of device or hardware, and don't lock it down, people all over the world will take it and do with it all these great things you speak of.  It's already happened a million times, that's how we got all this stuff today, our internet, computing devices in our homes, all this shit, the good and the bad, including Facebook.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

for once cliffy isn't full of shit. it's pretty childish not releasing your product on a platform that got bought out JUST BECAUSE you don't like em.



NikoKun
NikoKun

If Notch wants to do ANY sort of VR, whatever he ends up doing will ALSO work on Oculus Rift. Oculus is creating the Open-Standards most VR devices will probably end up using. The consumer device will end up being just as good as they've been intending all along, and just as open, so there's no reason to "drop support" because of this. Things were said out of spite, and without thinking.. and it's really a bad move for everyone involved.

As I said, his choice is either go VR, or don't go VR. But any VR he does go for will probably end up being Oculus Rift compatible.. This was a foolish move on Notch's part. :/

I really hope he changes his mind, and adds Rift/VR support eventually.. It's going to be an amazing thing to get into, and I can't wait for my DK2 and CV1.  Any mods people make wont be able to stay updated with the game, and might have latency issues. It's better for players, and VR in general, if the game supports it officially.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

It's because it's Facebook. People would get over it faster for a lot of other companies.

Minecraft didn't have to publicly cry about it, but Cliff doesn't need to publicly name call either.

zoopsat
zoopsat

I totally agree thats exactly how I felt about Notch when he went off about Windows 8 being closed. He needs to just wait these things out and see what happens. Like with Windows 8 it just has a store front you are not forced to use. I mean geez Minecraft is on Iphones and you can't get more closed then that. 

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

I fail to see how Notch has been petty, it's his choice if he wants to do business with facebook or not; he can do what he likes with his creation, and nobody has the right to tell him otherwise.


Sorry Cliff but you might as well be Zuckerberg himself; the fact is that you're going to be making good money out of this so of course you're going to praise it and get defensive when your investment is on the line, but as i said you have no right to get pissy with Notch over his business decisions, he can do as he likes and if you lose out well that's just too bad isn't it.

minecraftgreek
minecraftgreek

This thing went from a simple peripheral he wanted to support, to a facebook backed application platform.  I don't blame Notch for wanting to step back and wait.  No telling what kind of deals he would have to sign to support this thing.  


I think it was better when it was an open peripheral myself, now you have to sign in with your facebook account and buy apps through the facebook store.  Can't blame Notch for not wanting to give Facebook a share of his Minecraft pie.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

Jesus Christ, so people are of the opinion that Bleszinski is an egotistical know-it-all, but Notch somehow isn't? Give me a break.

If you ask me, I'm glad someone has finally decided to speak out against Notch's childlike mentality. This man is constantly running his mouth about things he doesn't understand, and people get behind him because he's a popular indie developer. Everything he has had to say regarding this 'acquisition' is nothing but hearsay and speculation, as Notch is one to do.

The gaming community at large is proving just how immature they can really be by following this idiot and his ill-informed opinions. People need to calm down and wait to see how this plays out before they assume that the potential behind Oculus is completely gone just because they went through a buyout. I'm not entirely happy about the buyout myself, but I'm not going to direct those feelings into half-baked assumptions based on absolutely nothing whatsoever.

Hiraishin
Hiraishin

How does that make him a pouty kid by not wanting his game associated with facebook?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

"I'll take videogame industry personalities for two-hundred, please Alex."


"A vacuous loud-mouth who is incapable of coming to terms with his own irrelevance."


"Who is Cliff Bleszinski?"


"Correct!"

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

lol he already admitted he is going to cash in huge on the Facebook buyout. Him telling anyone that leaves OR a brat is idiotic.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Remember, whenever someone on the internet says something you disagree with, that means they were paid to say it

_Witchunter_
_Witchunter_

@ChiefFreeman  And don't forget that guy from Just Cause developer, Christofer Sundberg. He was in every other article a month ago, but it seems GameSpot finally acknowledged this guy was full of it with his bullshit, and stopped giving him a spotlight.

JachAnen
JachAnen

@grenadehh No, he's right. Notch has clearly acted unprofessional and should be replaced for the sake of the company.
They all said that Oculus Rift is not getting any change not already planned. No one has any proof of otherwise (especially not this soon after the sale). I understand the feelings against this sale, but we should be rational about this and not act out like Notch.

mikz_nyc
mikz_nyc

@fabz  Here's what Facebook dweebs had to say : " Mark Zuckerberg says his company's acquisition of Oculus VR is a long-haul effort, one that enable virtual reality to become the most social platform in history over the next ten years. During a conference call Tuesday discussing the surprise deal, Facebook management pointed out that its business model for the tech will drive revenue through software, services, and advertising, not the sale of the hardware itself."  tried to lie and with this he admitted he lied (not directly) but still 

hystavito
hystavito

@NikoKun  Who says Facebook is going to continue that idea of open standards for VR?  The Oculus people don't get to make that decision anymore.


I think Bleszinski is painting a false and bleak picture of what Oculus would have been without Facebook in order to make this look like a great thing.  He's saying that it would have only been for gaming, um, why?  He gives us this list of good things, like helping people with medical problems and mental illnesses, why is that only now possible with Facebook owning it?  And he brings up an app store and ecosystem, those are things that have taken technology backwards in terms of openness.  When one organization owns the hardware, software, and services, they generally abuse that power.


And about Notch, well yes his comments may not be appropriate for a big name industry person, they aren't professional let's say.  But you know, I kinda like that, because he is saying what a lot of people are feeling.  People like Bleszinksi, they're more in the mainstream of the industry, polite, professional, they usually choose their words carefully.  Notch just says what he wants to say.  Pouty kid?  Maybe, but at least kids are a lot more honest than gaming industry types :).

hystavito
hystavito

@Hvac0120  Yeah to some extent it's because it's Facebook, for sure.  But I also think the timing is a big factor.  If the Rift had taken off and lots of people had them and were playing the games and such, like a couple years from now let's say, and then they sold out, I think it would have been a lot less of a slap in the face.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@zoopsat Oh my God, someone actually said what I've been saying for days now.
Notch came out against Windows 8 as being Microsoft's attempt at 'ruining the PC as an open platform', showing how little he actually knew about the OS. Just like the drove of idiots that still hate on Windows 8 as a whole because of the design of the Start Menu, neglecting the fact that the rest of the OS is practically identical to Windows 7.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@minecraftgreek Sign with your Facebook account?  Must buy apps on a Facebook store?  Neither of those even make any sense.  It would be like saying buying a Sony TV requires you to sign in to the TV with your Sony Playstation account and buy TV shows at the Sony store.  Where are you getting this disinformation?

mikz_nyc
mikz_nyc

@yearssomuch  People don't have to wait to see how this plays out,because everyone knows how facebook is and they don't wanna believe their lies anymore oh and here's something to enlighten yourself : " Mark Zuckerberg says his company's acquisition of Oculus VR is a long-haul effort, one that enable virtual reality to become the most social platform in history over the next ten years. During a conference call Tuesday discussing the surprise deal, Facebook management pointed out that its business model for the tech will drive revenue through software, services, and advertising, not the sale of the hardware itself."

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

What you take to be a "holier-than-thou" attitude most just see as a man with a self-made gaming success story who calls companies out on their shit because he can do so without consequence. Like he did when he exposed PCMAG selling their award logos to developers who "win" their awards.

Developers everywhere probably dream of being able to be as vocal of their opinions as he is but can't for fear of being blacklisted by the gaming industry.

I don't see how he's being "childlike" for not wanting to help a giant corporation with a history of questionable privacy policies by putting his game on their newly-acquired toy.

fabz
fabz

@JachAnen "They all said that Oculus Rift is not getting any change not already planned. "

Are you serious? :) The entire project is now owned by Facebook and effectively under new management! I can't think of a more significant change than that!

fabz
fabz

@mikz_nyc For what it's worth I'll make sure I avoid this new "social platform" like the plague.

"its business model for the tech will drive revenue through software, services, and advertising" 

I wonder which one of the three categories above covers the selling of personal user information to third parties...

JachAnen
JachAnen

@hystavito "Who says Facebook is going to continue that idea of open standards for VR" There is yet to be anything solid indicating anyone from FB butting in on this project which they do not fully understand. So the only thing we rally know about the effect on Oculus Rift is that it might just be better and/or done sooner because of the extra cash.

hystavito
hystavito

@Zloth2 @minecraftgreek  It's speculation, not disinformation, and it's a reasonable speculation.  Most big companies that operate services do that, it's totally reasonable to suspect Facebook will go that direction.  Even Bleszinski said it himself that it needed an ecosystem and an app store and that Facebook will bring that.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@mikz_nyc Look, I'm not saying I trust Facebook either.. far from it, in fact. But as of right now everyone is freaking out over speculative disinformation and hearsay, largely driven by Notch's ill-informed opinions.


You're one of the hundreds of people I've seen copy-and-paste that quote into your arguments, as though it somehow solidifies the idea that Facebook is guaranteed, and destined even, to ruin this. I'm honestly wondering if you (and a majority of the gaming community, apparently) have perception issues, because you seem to have a hard time understanding that statement. But hey, I'll bite:

'[Facebook's]
acquisition of Oculus VR is a long-haul effort, one that enable virtual reality to become the most social platform in history over the next ten years.'
What is so bad about this? To me, it sounds like they're saying they intend their full support for the product for years and years to come.

'
Facebook management pointed out that its business model for the tech will drive revenue through software, services, and advertising, not the sale of the hardware itself.'
Once again, what is the big issue that everyone has here? Whether or not Facebook had followed through with this acquisition, Oculus was always going to 'drive revenue through software and services', since 'software' easily equates to video games, and 'services' could be anything from media apps like Netflix or Hulu, or any 'service' they think would be practical with the hardware. As for the 'advertising' bit, well yeah.. welcome to the age of advertising. If that's your biggest concern, you should stop using the internet entirely.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@HowlPendragon I base my opinion on Notch's childlike mentality on the countless other times he has chosen to employ it, via clear misinformation and speculation. The man runs his mouth all of the time about things he knows nothing of, and while he may sometimes have a point, that point is usually shrouded in obscurity considering how the point he's trying to make is never based on fact, but rather his own incorrectly preconceived ideas. He makes a ton of assumptions whenever he opens his mouth, this Facebook acquisition being a prime example.

I'm not saying he didn't have a point with his reasoning, but his reasoning isn't backed by FACT. This is what most people who are following this idiots opinions fail to understand.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@fabz That doesn't suddenly mean that Oculus is no longer Oculus. You're practicing speculative hearsay and nothing more.

mikz_nyc
mikz_nyc

@fabz  I'm sure  "services and advertising" categories ,maybe all three 

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@JachAnen EXACTLY, and this is what everyone fails to understand. Unless reports come out that suggest Facebook is entirely altering the product to the point that it's no longer Rift, then people have no reason to be so upset about this. If anything, people should be ecstatic at the future potential of it since they now have a ton of extra money to throw at future development.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@hystavito @Zloth2@minecraftgreek No, 'minecraftgeek' (lol, of course this shill would defend Notch) made the claim that suddenly Oculus now needs direct Facebook connectivity, which is nothing BUT speculative disinformation. 

Zloth2
Zloth2

@hystavito @Zloth2@minecraftgreek Speculation uses the passive voice - he didn't.  He's stating as fact that you have to sign into a headset with your Facebook account and that you have to buy your apps through the Facebook store but he's got 0 proof.  That's disinformation, to use the nicest term for it.

It is not evenly slightly reasonable to think that you would have to sign in to a VR headset using ANY account system.  That's flat out crazy talk.

It's less crazy but still pretty unfathomable that you would have to buy all your VR applications via some store on Facebook, too.  This thing is being made for the PC and there are already applications for it as well as mods for existing applications.  How are you supposed to stop people from making programs for it and distributing them any way you want?

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

@PlatinumPaladin LOL. Is that the best you can come up with? Really?
I feel sorry for your pathetically linear thought process.