Zuckerberg's Deal Causes Unrest In The Gaming Community
What started as a device for gaming enthusiasts now belongs to one of the most colossal tech corporations in the world.
Yes, Facebook is at it again. For $2 billion, Mark Zuckerberg is buying Oculus VR - a startup that makes virtual reality headsets, which are ‘designed by gamers, for gamers’. The deal is around $17 billion shy of its WhatsApp Acquisition.
Now this has made a whole bevy of people pretty unhappy – ranging from Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, to once avid supporters of the virtual reality headset. Observers have weighed in on the deal with reactions ranging from mild disappointment to absolute rage.
Minecraft’s Notch Resonates What We’re All Thinking: Facebook Is Creepy
When Zuckerberg gushed about how it was buying Oculus VR, “Notch”, the Minecraft creator declared he would longer be bringing his influential game to the virtual-reality platform.
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.— Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014
Notch took to his blog to convey his enthusiasm about the design prospects of virtual reality.
"As someone who always felt like they were born five or ten years too late, I felt like we were on the cusp of a new paradigm that I might be able to play around with," Perrson wrote. "I could be part of the early efforts to work out best practices, and while I have no doubt that in ten years we’ll look back at the problems with early VR applications in the same we look back at GUI problems with early PC games, it still felt exciting to me."
Upon discovering Facebook’s latest purchase, his sentiments changed a bit:
“Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.”
“Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?”
Persson has not explicitly ruled out developing for other platforms, namely Sony's Project Morpheus.
Kickstarter Initial Supporters Lash Out
Soon after Mark Zuckerberg announced his Oculus acquisition through a Facebook update, acerbic and spiteful comments appeared on the Oculus Rift Kickstarter.
Oculus owes most of its success and financial assistance to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Unfortunately, for peeved supporters, Kickstarter doesn't have a money-back-guarantee for projects that joyride donations to a billion dollar payday.
Notch is certainly not alone in the sentiment. Other reactions ranging from mild disgust to downright anger:
"This is very disappointing. I will no longer be supporting the Oculus Rift in any way." - Michael Cooper
"All I can say with absolute certainty is I absolutely do not like, use, nor trust Facebook as a company. While my funds are yours fair and square, at this moment in time, I regret backing this. I sincerely hope I am wrong." — Brad'li
"Horrible... HORRIBLE decision. I want my donation back." — Mike Yoo
"Well, I'm kind of horrified. I'd never have backed this if I'd had an inkling this might happen. Very happy I didn't preorder the second devkit; I'm going to wait and see what competitors might pop up." — Svein Ove Aas
"Wow I am in shock...VR was soo close... Now I feel we are back in 1993 again. What a setback. I had so much hope for this project. You really need to give us a proper explanation for this move..." — Mathias Hagstrom
"Wow, I misjudged you... sorry to hear I was backing Facebook in the end... thanks for that." — Tim Pettigrew
"I too want my $10 back. I don't want my VR experience in the Facebook mall." — Avram Eisner
"I would have NEVER given a single cent of my money to Oculus if I had known you were going to sell out to Facebook. You sold all of us out. I hope this backfires horribly for Oculus and Facebook. I will personally discourage absolutely anyone I know from buying what was once an indie dream and is now a soulless corporate cash cow. God, I want a refund so badly." — John Wolf