Oculus creator explains why Facebook buyout makes sense

21-year-old Palmer Luckey says he was initially skeptical, but was later convinced that partnering with Mark Zuckerberg's company would allow virtual reality to go mainstream.

Following the surprise announcement today that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR, 21-year-old Palmer Luckey, creator of the virtual reality headset, explained why the deal makes sense. In a detailed post on Reddit, Luckey said the $2 billion buyout will allow virtual reality to go mainstream, impacting not only gaming, but also many other industries.

"When Facebook first approached us about partnering, I was skeptical. As I learned more about the company and its vision and spoke with [Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg], the partnership not only made sense, but became the clear and obvious path to delivering virtual reality to everyone," Luckey said. "Facebook was founded with the vision of making the world a more connected place. Virtual reality is a medium that allows us to share experiences with others in ways that were never before possible."

Palmer Luckey

"Facebook is run in an open way that's aligned with Oculus' culture. Over the last decade, Mark and Facebook have been champions of open software and hardware, pushing the envelope of innovation for the entire tech industry," he added. "As Facebook has grown, they've continued to invest in efforts like with the Open Compute Project, their initiative that aims to drive innovation and reduce the cost of computing infrastructure across the industry. This is a team that's used to making bold bets on the future."

Overall, Luckey said partnering with Facebook is a "unique and powerful opportunity" for Oculus VR and virtual reality in general.

"The partnership accelerates our vision, allows us to execute on some of our most creative ideas, and take risks that were otherwise impossible," he said. "Most importantly, it means a better Oculus Rift with fewer compromises even faster than we anticipated."

Luckey also made clear that "very little" will change at Oculus VR as a result of the buyout, though the company will now have "substantially more resources to build the right team."

"This is a special moment for the gaming industry," Luckey said. "Oculus' somewhat unpredictable future just became crystal clear: virtual reality is coming, and it's going to change the way we play games forever. I'm obsessed with VR. I spend every day pushing further, and every night dreaming of where we are going. Even in my wildest dreams, I never imagined we'd come so far so fast."

"I'm proud to be a member of this community--thank you all for carrying virtual reality and gaming forward and trusting in us to deliver. We won't let you down."

Not all are happy about the Oculus VR/Facebook deal. Minecraft creator Markus Persson said today that he's canceled the VR version of Minecraft because Facebook is "creeps me out."

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

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Discussion

268 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

What else do you expect him to say? Oh, I hate my new bosses who just gave us $2 billion?

Daian
Daian

Translation: " They gave me 2 billion dollars so I said screw focusing on gaming, do what u want with it. Sorry not sorry.".

kludermor
kludermor

If you don't like the Rift then don't buy it. But the rift will be the same as original promised. Maybe even better at launch. Stop whining everyone. More money can create a better product, and I'm sure lots of people complaining in this discussion have a facebook account..  

dysonlu
dysonlu

It's like the city/community developed a pro athlete and then said pro athlete signs with another city's pro team.  You can still watch him play but...

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Just say you did it for the damn money.  We arent stupid.

tomservo51
tomservo51

It makes sense cause now I can buy a yacht. -PL

lostn
lostn

I believe he's now the youngest billionaire in the world, taking the honor from Zuckerberg himself? He has his pissed off backers to thank for his rags to riches transformation. The least he could do now is return all that backer money, since it's a drop in the ocean to what he has now, and he no longer needs anyone's help.

blackothh
blackothh

"Mark and Facebook have been champions of open software and hardware"

exactly what have they championed over other then ad infested spy software?

Brokendemise
Brokendemise

So what happens to all the Kickstarter backers? Do they still get their stuff or what's the scoop? Hopefully he uses some of that $2bn to fullfill backers or give them their money back. Stockholders usually get paid when the company gets bought out, why not the backers?

Hurvl
Hurvl

What? He's talking about how this makes sense? I thought he was going to admit that he made the decision after a lengthy alcohol and Oculus Rift binge (don't need LSD when you have the Oculus Rift). It doesn't make sense that he's talking about how this makes sense.

berserker66666
berserker66666

So they took our money and support and sold themselves to Facebook? I want my refund.

MetrosexualVaan
MetrosexualVaan

Why does it make sense? 2 Billion dollars, cha ching! 


Seriously though, what a joke. These people were freaking Kickstarted by their fans who believed in their idea, some of which pledged hundreds of dollars, only to turn around and sell the idea for 2 billion leaving their backers with NOTHING! Talk about robbery!

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

Lol! Why don't you tell us, My. Luckey, the truthful reason the buyout makes sense? You were slapped with so much money, you don't have to worry about lifting another finger to work a single day for the rest of your life. So of course the buyout makes sense! At least be honest about it.

DeadorRock
DeadorRock

John Carmack must be really happy now. He left ID to work full-time at Oculus and this happens.

ECH71
ECH71

People say anything to justify all the money being thrown at them.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

Makes sense because its $2 000,000,000

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

It's really simple. You saw the dollar signs and couldn't resist, while betraying the trust and expectations of gamers who were eagerly anticipating this tech.

GunEye
GunEye

"....because The Devil offered only 1 billion..."

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

Ah well, the young and foolish will forever make these decisions.

demondogx
demondogx

He first did it for the love of VR
Now he changed his original vision because of money

- Sellout

dipdish
dipdish

He's 19 years old, what do you expect? I'm not surprised to see that. But with Facebook involved, I'm not sure I'm interested in the product anymore.

DarkSpidey69
DarkSpidey69

All my interest and excitement in this product has suddenly died.

I really enjoyed what this guy stood for and how he wanted to bring something to the world without ripping everyone off, but then he does this.

It's like Batman being sponsored by Mc Donalds

EcksTheory
EcksTheory

Give the backers a refund you sellout piece of shit.

krystyla
krystyla

So he basically drove up the price over time

vlainstrike
vlainstrike

Why am I suddenly reminded of how the emperor seduced Anakin?

berserker66666
berserker66666

No need to ramble on about it. Just say the magic word......2 Billion. SOLD.

thereal25
thereal25

Conversation went like this:

Mark: Hi Palmer, I'd like to buy OR

Palmer: Um, no I don't think so.

Mark: I'll pay 2 billion

Palmer: Okay

Hellcanwait
Hellcanwait

I suspect that there was about 2 billion reasons that trumphed anything else.

Bond_Villain
Bond_Villain

Awesome, cant wait to play Candy Crush Saga in VR!!

arcanitejedi
arcanitejedi

Well at least look at the bright sight, the comment section is a joy to skim through.

hardeddie
hardeddie

Why couldnt you just raise funds by IPO? That way the Property Rights are still yours. Guess $ 2 Billions is faster, or you could be lazy, or your dont believe in your own product or just dont have basic understanding of Economics.

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

Facebook and innovation don't belong in the same sentence. All Zuckerberg did was wave some Money at this guy.

twodigits
twodigits

It makes sense, because 2 billion. 

adub424
adub424

All Trolling aside the response to this purchase has shown how ignorant and paranoid the gaming community can be. No wonder the government and non-gamers don't take us seriously. Fail Gaming community, too long have you seen yourselves as righteous.

chieflion
chieflion

facebook is creeps me out


thats my new fb status

SipahSalar
SipahSalar

HA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Who were the idiots who paid for this during its kickstarter days?

kevinvegda
kevinvegda

I want to wield big-ass Swords and Laser rifles and bazookas, not watch ads in 3D.

freyyr890
freyyr890

@blackothh  Look here: github.com/facebook


Facebook open sources a *lot* of their platform. For example, they have developed a high performance PHP execution engine (the HipHop Virtual Machine) and gifted a bunch of projects to the Apache Foundation. They give back in a big way, it's just not obvious at first unless you're a developer or a sysadmin.

lostn
lostn

@Brokendemise Backers donate money in exchange for an agreed upon return if the project is successful (there is no legal obligation that what is promised is delivered). A shareholder owns an interest in the company. If the company makes money, the shareholder (being an owner) gets some of that profit. 


By being a Kickstarter, you are making someone's dreams come true. You are not doing it with the expectation of sharing in their wealth. In this case, you've made a guy with nothing but an idea extremely rich. Don't get mad, get even.

cracka123
cracka123

@Brokendemise  

Because kickstarter is for donations. You don't actually buy a share in the company.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@MetrosexualVaan Where did they say that backers wouldn't get anything? That the conditions have changed is a fact, but it doesn't mean that the people making the Oculus Rift possible won't get what they were promised.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@DeadorRock From one initally small, innovative company later being owned by a megacorporation to another one. Lol, history is repeating itself.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@DarkSpidey69 As long as there are good Batman products, I don't care what kind of sponsors it has. If Dark Souls was sponsored by McDonald's, but still managed to be as great as it is, then I'd be fine with it.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@arcanitejedi Yeah, so many outraged individuals saying that whatever hope or fleeting dream they may have had about the Oculus Rift revolutionizing VR gaming, is now forever crushed under the "social" boot that is Facebook - or should I say Facecrook. Oh, such a cruel fate that is laid upon us!

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@hardeddie  

Sounds like he has a perfect understanding of economics.  

Create a cool product.  Do a kickstarter, get people to believe in it.

Fill everyone's head with bullshit about creativity, innovation, and artistry.  Really push those "little people" buttons.


Sellout to the first corporate parasite that offers you 2 billion dollars.

Laugh all the way to the bank, waving smugly at all the investors and backers you just fucked over and sold a bill of goods to.

Live happily forever on your yacht.

Sure, he's a piece of shit.  But now he has 2 billion reasons not to care what you think.

This planet needs an enema.