Oculus Rift creator -- "We promise we won't change" following Facebook buyout

Writing on Reddit, Palmer Luckey addresses criticisms about the recent $2 billion acquisition.

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.

Luckey doesn't think you'll still be mad a year from now:

"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."

You won't need to log into Facebook to use Oculus Rift:

"I guarantee that you won't need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift."

On how the Facebook acquisition will affect the freedom Oculus Rift developers will have:

"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."

Oculus Rift will actually become more open:

"We promise we won't change. If anything, our hardware and software will get even more open, and Facebook is onboard with that."

"Huge investments" for Oculus Rift content could be coming:

"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."

Support for indie devs on Oculus Rift is going to increase:

"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."

Getting rid of venture capital investors will help Oculus grow:

"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."

Oculus is actually leaving money on the table by going with Facebook:

"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."

Zuckerberg won't control Oculus Rift's future:

"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."

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

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

249 comments
KennyKB
KennyKB

Zuckerberg is going to drink all of Luckey's milkshake.

G00zfraba
G00zfraba

"I guarantee that you won't need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift." 

So long as you hit "Sign me in automatically" 

SoulxReaperx366
SoulxReaperx366

"every time" we want to use the oculus rift. This is the key part of that statement. To wear it and turn it on is technically "using" it, even if you're just at a sign in menu for facebook.

rarson
rarson

What he's saying actually makes a lot of sense. With Facebook's resources, Oculus has a lot more to work with to get the job done, and Palmer doesn't strike me as a guy who would just jump at a huge sum of money unless it was to better deliver his baby to consumers. Iribe seems like a very savvy guy as well, so I'm sure between the bunch of them, Oculus was smart enough to get Facebook to agree to their terms, which could have included something about independent operation.


I still hate the idea of Facebook being associated with the Rift, in any way, but at least from a business standpoint, it does make a lot of sense.

donmurray29
donmurray29

Oculus Rift creator -- "We promise we won't change" following Facebook buyout,  well you have changed, a large corporation owns you. So they have to answer to shareholders and other moneybag scumbags.

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

"Zuckerberg won't control Oculus Rift's future"


Serious? He already does now that he slapped you with money and you dumbly took it. Zuckerberg has already made mention of bringing this technology to other markets other than gaming. So he's already planning its future, therefore he controls it.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Well we shall see...

I really hope it does all play out as Lucky envisions.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

The biggest problem with OR is going to be...  the price.  OR is going to need a quite powerful/expensive PC and a very expensive piece of hardware, OR.  Don't get me wrong... OR is brilliant, but the price of admission will severely limit adoption.  On the other hand, if Morpheus can swing the expensive piece of VR hardware with a relatively inexpensive console, it has a high chance of a good adoption rate.  Unless Facebook decides to take big losses in order fuel adoption rates...    

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

I absolutely believe him.


There are plenty of examples where a company didn't change because a big, parasitic entity bought them out.


Take Bioware for example.


Oh, Wait.

Bond_Villain
Bond_Villain

Give this guy a year and he'll be leaving Facebook, due to "creative differences" 

FordFairlane
FordFairlane

Does this mean Facebook is going to turn into Playstation Home?

ivireos
ivireos

Here's the truth.


If, that Jerk at FB wanted to... help.


Then why not just donate to the kickstarter like everyone else?



Is that short and sweet enough for you to understand?

hystavito
hystavito

Promises like these are held for basically one of 2 reasons.  True sincerity, or fear of consequences, as in making your customers angry and losing their money.


With Facebook though, that fear of consequences will be mostly eliminated.  Facebook wants to take this mainstream, big time, mass market, social, a whole new audience.  That new audience would be vastly larger than the current group of Oculus fans.  If they end up breaking these promises, these current fans will call them out for it, but that just won't matter.  That new huge group of customers will never know any promises were broken, they won't know about any of this, and so it won't affect the bottom line enough to matter.

styymy
styymy

What is Palmer smoking? Facebook OWNS you now and you WILL do what they say. The creator now has an owner so go ahead and show us the list of changes coming while the ink is still fresh on paper.

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

Oculus Rift to Kickstarters donators:

Thanky you, and now, so long suckers

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

We know facebook's history: build a user base & then slowly add more ads, track more data for targeted marketing & monetise as much as possible.

I'm sure fb won't have a pervasive influence on the Rift in the first couple of years, but just wait...

Cruisemissile
Cruisemissile

I am sorry OR creator but you lost my trust and interest in the OR when you sold-out to facebook.

Ha2e
Ha2e

How many times have we read this same type of statement in this industry.

makryu
makryu

Believe it when I see it

raiden_knight
raiden_knight

"The goal is to start a Kickstarter project on June 1st that will end on July 1st, shipping afterwards as soon as possible. I WON'T MAKE A PENNY OF PROFITS OFF THIS PROJECT, the goal is to pay for the costs of parts, manufacturing, shipping, and credit card/Kickstarter fees with about $10 left over for a celebratory pizza and beer."

- Palmer Luckey, Oculus VR CEO, in 2009

Words are words, and your credibility has been completely shredded by selling a kickstarter project. You made a profit off of every person who backed you by selling out to Facebook. Also you think Mark won't put his little hands into any part of the OR? Your naive if that's what you believe. Facebook is just as bad as EA when it comes to acquiring businesses. Facebook is a social media company that only buys other companies when it'll boost their social media business model.

Your tagline on kickstarter was "Designed for gamers, by gamers" and correct me if I'm wrong, but Facebook is not a gaming company. Your new tagline line should be " Designed for gamers, by a Fortune 500 social media corporation"

Dieknochenblume
Dieknochenblume

Palmer: "We have more freedom to do what we want now that our investment partners -- and our initial backers from kickstarter -- are out of the picture." 


Fixed it. Quite a heist you pulled there.

psyborgue
psyborgue

Words words words.  He's either lying through his teeth or hopelessly naive.  Either way, Oculus is fucked.

Mraou
Mraou

Sony needs to make their VR headset PC-friendly and they've won.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

I can give speeches about things too, but time will tell what really happens. I dont think its as rosy as the picture he paints

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Well im sure facebook has some interest in it other then just funding it or they would have bought units after it was finished instead of buying the company. I can just imagine all the awful tie ins and connections to facebook this is going to have. Facebook is one of the worst mass appeal things to happen I hate seeing spam all over for it.

Hurvl
Hurvl

But, but, but... facebook is eeeeviiiilll! 

Okay, that's my only objection, now go ahead and do your thing (if it still is *your* thing, that is).

ignautius
ignautius

I love the idea of Kickstarting a grass-roots company so they can sell out for $2 billion and suddenly not be accountable to the people that got them off the ground.

sephirothsfan02
sephirothsfan02

As if someone who just sold a kickstarter project has any credibility left...

ggregd
ggregd

Ask the people at Whatsapp about this.  Virtually all Facebook's acquisitions to date have been about feeding users or new features to the Mothership.  Why should this be any different?

straightcur
straightcur

This guy is so naïve.  It'll be a tough lesson learned.

ggregd
ggregd

Easy to say, hard to do.  Young people always learn this the hard way.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@raiden_knight  Correction: "Designed for mass market appeal, by a Fortune 500 social media corporation".

raiden_knight
raiden_knight

@eli2333  Are they stupid? How will a social media company have an edge over a game developer on gaming tech? It'd be more believable if Microsoft were the ones who bought Oculus VR.

Justin117319
Justin117319

@Mraou  if they do then hell yea they win

ggregd
ggregd

@HailHellfire  What Zuckerberg says here is completely at odds with the quotes above.  He said gaming was "just the start" and talked about letting people "share experiences" through the device (via Facebook, of course) and the last thing he said was their "important job of getting advertising" will be part of it too.

He's either lying or he's the stereotypical tech guy who's getting hoodwinked by the suits.  Sad.

dom28
dom28

@Excalibus @LJNkickstarterAs a consumer he has the right to choose whichever product he feels like. Just because he isn't purchasing what your purchasing, does not make him pig-headed.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@shinjuki @psyborgue 

And we love your blind faith in corporate bilge.

Go worship at your Phil Spencer altar some more and leave everyone in peace.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@shinjuki @abcdefgabcdefgz  

"The only negative backlash is from people who are already ignorantly biased against Facebook."

So anyone who opposes things like this is ignorantly biased against the company.

Isn't it ironic you can't see how utterly ignorant that is.

You'd make a great submissive house toy for a politician.  You should move to Washington DC ASAP and sell yourself to the highest bidder. 



dongraiser
dongraiser

>this is a not biasedly crazy person talking here

Thats exactly what a biasedly crazy person would say

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

@ggregd @HailHellfire  

Luckey was apart of that meeting. so the Oculus Rift guys were present & heard everything being said. they are all lying to help keep customers hopes up.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@shinjuki @Ha2e 

And you are naive as shit if you think a company like Facebook doesn't have ulterior motives.

But what am I saying?  You are the big corporate apologist for just about everything.  

Lick more boots, and believe more lies.

Ha2e
Ha2e

@shinjuki @raiden_knight@eli2333 I doubt Facebook acquired Oculus Rift with no intentions on moving the platform towards helping their social media experience which would divide the attention it gives towards pure gaming. I was wondering why the Oculus Rift was releasing demos of the player going to stores like supermarkets. Now I know why. Because the focus is moving away from gaming

KennyKB
KennyKB

@shinjuki @TheWatcher000 @abcdefgabcdefgz  shinjuki, we get it man. You like the deal, you like Facebook. Just because others don't, or are apprehensive about the inevitable corporate influence, doesn't make them ignorant. It would be ignorant to think Facebook bought them out with no intention to exploit it for their own financial gain.