Oculus VR’s Carmack didn’t expect Facebook deal, but says Oculus had to partner with someone
“I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus.”
Creator of Doom and Chief Technology Officer at Oculus VR John Carmack didn't necessarily expect it to be Facebook, but said that Oculus had to partner with someone.
Carmack commented on a post to Anamanaguchi member Peter Berkman’s blog, which criticized Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR. Berkman said he’s worried about Facebook collecting data, creating an “information monopoly,” and the notion that today “companies exist and operate only to be acquired.”
In his response, Carmack said that there is a case for being an independent company like Valve and trying to build a new virtual reality ecosystem like Steam from the ground up. “This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see,” he said. “The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state.”
VR, Carmack argues, won’t be like that. “The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact,” he said. “The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.”
He added that he didn’t expect it to be this soon, that he didn’t expect it to be Facebook, and that he could think of other, more obvious companies, but that he believes Facebook sees the “Big Picture.”
“I wasn't personally involved in any of the negotiations,” he said. “I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus.”
In 2000, Carmack founded Armadillo Aerospace, a space tourism startup. On Twitter, Carmack also said that the Facebook deal probably means he’ll give aerospace another shot, but not for several years. “I have divided my focus too much in the past,” he said.
To catch up with the biggest news of the week, make sure you read everything you need to know about Facebook buying Oculus for $2 billion.