Chris Robert doesn't think Oculus "sold out"

#1 Posted by TheFadeForever (1832 posts) -

Cloud Imperium founder and creator of the upcoming Star Citizen Chris Roberts doesn’t think Oculus VR betrayed gamers by “selling out” to Facebook. In a post to Star Citizen's official website, he makes an argument that’s familiar at this point: Oculus VR needed a lot more money in order for the Rift to succeed.

“It really needed a lot more funding than it has raised from its past two VC rounds,” he said. “Hardware is expensive: it’s one thing to perfect the technology, but before you can sell a single Rift, you need to spend hundreds of millions on manufacturing and building a supply chain if you intend to make the Rift (and Virtual Reality) relevant for the mass market.”

For example, he says that Microsoft invested well over a billion dollars just to launch Xbox One this fall, and hopes that Facebook’s funding will allow Oculus to compete on a similar, mass-market scale.

While he isn’t opposed to the acquisition, Roberts said that his own company has no interest in following a similar path. “We don’t need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make OUR dream a reality,” he said, explaining that their development costs are not nearly as high as Oculus VR’s.

Those development costs, as you may have heard, are funded by fans, who so far have raised a staggering $41 million.

#2 Posted by BloodyTides (151 posts) -

I agree with him that the money that OR raised wasn't enough to really deliver a quality product

#3 Posted by kalipekona (2299 posts) -

@TheFadeForever said:

Cloud Imperium founder and creator of the upcoming Star Citizen Chris Roberts doesn’t think Oculus VR betrayed gamers by “selling out” to Facebook. In a post to Star Citizen's official website, he makes an argument that’s familiar at this point: Oculus VR needed a lot more money in order for the Rift to succeed.

“It really needed a lot more funding than it has raised from its past two VC rounds,” he said. “Hardware is expensive: it’s one thing to perfect the technology, but before you can sell a single Rift, you need to spend hundreds of millions on manufacturing and building a supply chain if you intend to make the Rift (and Virtual Reality) relevant for the mass market.”

For example, he says that Microsoft invested well over a billion dollars just to launch Xbox One this fall, and hopes that Facebook’s funding will allow Oculus to compete on a similar, mass-market scale.

While he isn’t opposed to the acquisition, Roberts said that his own company has no interest in following a similar path. “We don’t need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make OUR dream a reality,” he said, explaining that their development costs are not nearly as high as Oculus VR’s.

Those development costs, as you may have heard, are funded by fans, who so far have raised a staggering $41 million.

It's not surprising. Anybody that understands the economics of the situation would come to a similar conclusion. Chris Roberts is a good guy. I can't wait to play Star Citizen in the Rift.

#4 Edited by Ratchet_Fan8 (5550 posts) -

who

#5 Posted by FoxbatAlpha (7422 posts) -

I think Chris Roberts should sell out to get that damn game done. Many ships just sitting in hangers.

#6 Posted by kuu2 (7373 posts) -

OR had over $100 million in funding prior to the Facebook purchase. If you can't get your product off the ground for $100 million do you really have a viable product?

#7 Posted by uninspiredcup (9006 posts) -

He is right. Although that doesn't stop facebook being insidious as a company.

#8 Posted by BloodyTides (151 posts) -

@kuu2:

you going need a lot more than 100 million if you want produce a quality product and market it

#9 Posted by Gargus (2147 posts) -

I don't give a shit how indie and ground roots you are about your product, if someone comes along and sticks 2 billion dollars under your nose you will take it. Anyone who pretends they wouldn't do otherwise and not "sell out" is a fucking moron and a liar.

Besides, when you create a product to sell youre doing it to make money.

And he is full of shit. Yeah he doesn't need someone with deep pockets. That's easy to say when no one wants to buy your product and waving a 2 billion dollar check in front of your face.

#10 Posted by Wasdie (50002 posts) -

@kuu2 said:

OR had over $100 million in funding prior to the Facebook purchase. If you can't get your product off the ground for $100 million do you really have a viable product?

$100 million isn't much when it comes to further R&D and setting up large scale production to meet demand. The Pebble, that kickstarter funded smart watch, has been a disaster because their supply has been terrible.

Investing the capital for a long running business is extremely expensive. We're talking millions just for the production space, them millions more on the equipment to actually put together the parts, then millions more for logistics to distribute the product. Furthermore with $100 million (ish) they would be limited to mobile phone parts for the screen and a lot of things and they would be severely limited in producing the best experience possible. With this new influx of cash they can invest into making their own hardware, not just reassembling scraps from the mobile phone market.

#11 Posted by steamistrash (427 posts) -

another nsa device

#12 Posted by MlauTheDaft (3853 posts) -

He's right about the money but OR will still datamine the fuck out of you, in some way.

#13 Posted by edwardecl (2239 posts) -

I don't understand the logic here. All these VR headsets are just off the shelf components put it a box, obviously a suitable box to strap you your face... there is nothing new or innovative here. VR tech has been around for many many years in some form or another they have just taken advantage of the new tech coming out from other companies and combined the parts together.

So they really don't need to spend all that much on the actual technology that drives it because it's already there being mass produced, it's mostly peoples time to come up with a design. With 3D printers and the like prototyping is not exactly expensive anymore on the scale of things, of course this is not suitable for mass production you would need to tool up for that, now that is what costs the money. Obviously you would need a one off investment to do that.

Boggles the mind why facebook even bought it though, the company really has no value. You could hire a team and make the exact same thing.

#14 Edited by II_Seraphim_II (20494 posts) -

I agree. Oculus needed a lot more funding. Even so Im kind of bummed at how said funding was obtained.

#15 Posted by FoxbatAlpha (7422 posts) -

@edwardecl said:

I don't understand the logic here. All these VR headsets are just off the shelf components put it a box, obviously a suitable box to strap you your face... there is nothing new or innovative here. VR tech has been around for many many years in some form or another they have just taken advantage of the new tech coming out from other companies and combined the parts together.

So they really don't need to spend all that much on the actual technology that drives it because it's already there being mass produced, it's mostly peoples time to come up with a design. With 3D printers and the like prototyping is not exactly expensive anymore on the scale of things, of course this is not suitable for mass production you would need to tool up for that, now that is what costs the money. Obviously you would need a one off investment to do that.

Boggles the mind why facebook even bought it though, the company really has no value. You could hire a team and make the exact same thing.

Hell remember when VR showed up in Arcades around the late '90's, early 2000's? They died off fairly quickly. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see it taking off and having stay power.

A $2 billion invest seems like they want to make the desk top monitor obsolete. That is brave thinking.

#16 Posted by GarGx1 (2776 posts) -

He does speak the truth, the money OR had already raised got them through prototyping the product but without the cash from Facebook the first consumer version wouldn't be everything they (and we) want. Now though it will be a first class product.

Does make me wonder if Chris is one of the venture capitalists who invested in OR though ;)

@FoxbatAlpha

No Chris shouldn't sell out it wouldn't get us the game any earlier, the $ 41 million raised is more than most games get for full development, not including the marketing budget.

We'll get the DFM in the next month or so :)