21-year-old Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has responded to the wave of criticism over the sale of his company, Oculus VR, to social networking behemoth Facebook.
The $2 billion deal was announced yesterday and Luckey has been busy responding to questions on Reddit. Below are some key points Luckey made in his extensive Reddit feedback thread regarding the blockbuster acquisition.
"I won't change, and any change at Oculus will be for the better. We have even more freedom than we had under our investment partners because Facebook is making a long term play on the success of VR, not short-term returns. A lot of people are upset, and I get that. If you feel the same way a year from now, I would be very surprised."
"I guarantee that you won't need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift."
"Oculus continues to operate independently! We are going to remain as indie/developer/enthusiast friendly as we have always been, if not more so. This deal lets us dedicate a lot of resources to developer relations, technical help, engine optimizations, and our content investment/publishing/sales platform. We are not going to track you, flash ads at you, or do anything invasive. I am 100% certain that most people will see why this is good in the long term."
"We promise we won't change. If anything, our hardware and software will get even more open, and Facebook is onboard with that."
"We have not gotten into all the details yet, but a lot of the news is coming. The key points:
1) We can make custom hardware, not rely on the scraps of the mobile phone industry. That is insanely expensive, think hundreds of millions of dollars. More news soon.
2) We can afford to hire everyone we need, the best people that fit into our culture of excellence in all aspects.
3) We can make huge investments in content. More news soon."
"This deal will definitely make things better. You are right, we have struggled to properly support indie devs because we had to focus our limited resources on our closest partners, that has been a failing that I want to fix. Indie developers are the ones driving this VR revolution more than anyone else, and one of my personal goals has been to support them in a much stronger way. Our developer relations/publishing team is really small right now, just a few guys. That is one of the reasons Oculus Share applications have taken so long, they get backed up behind the hundreds of developers we talk to every day. We now have the resources to put a lot of money into indie VR content, you will be seeing some good news on that very soon."
"Facebook is making a long term bet on VR, not a short term run on profit. We have more freedom to do what we want now that our investment partners are out of the picture."
"Sure, we could have made more money down the road, but this deal was not about making the most money. It was about doing the best thing for the long term future of virtual reality. This lets us make [Oculus Rift Consumer Version 1] everything we want it to be, which is going to drive much larger sales and adoption."
"This acquisition/partnership gives us more control of our destiny, not less! We don't have to compromise on anything, and can afford to make decisions that are right for the future of virtual reality, not our current revenue. Keep in mind that we already have great partners who invested heavily in Oculus and got us to where we are, so we have not had full control of our destiny for some time. Facebook believes in our long term vision, and they want us to continue executing on our own roadmap, not control what we do. I would never have done this deal if it meant changing our direction, and Facebook has a good track record of letting companies work independently post-acquisition."