Oculus Rift, Facebook and VR

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Facebook bought Oculus for $2 Billion.

This happened few days ago, on March 25, 2014.

When I first heard this news, I was angry, disappointed and confused. Why did Palmer Luckey sell his company at this time? Also $2B is really not a big deal for Oculus and Palmer - at least I don't think it is.

Less then 2 years ago, Palmer raised 2.5 million dollars from Kickstarter and that changed the world of VR.

From that time all people who believed VR is the future also believed Oculus is the future of VR. People started to talk about Oculus when they want to talk about VR. And the community of VR game developers became extremely active after Oculus Rift DK1 had been shipped back to July 2013.

On August 7,2013 Oculus announced John Carmack joined Oculus as CTO.

Half year later, this month(March 19, 2014) Oculus announced Oculus Rift DK2 opened for pre-order.

Then March 25, Palmer sold Oculus to Facebook.

So far, DK2 is still the ONLY VR device developers could order in the market. Also it is the ONLY VR device which announced support PC platform.

Why I think $2B is not a big deal for Oculus? To be honest $2B IS a great deal for most of 2-years-old companies, but Oculus was not that kind of "most". I have never saw a company which had all developers support, even Google, Facebook and Apple can not achieve this. And most developers believed Oculus was the future of VR. Do you really think that only worth $2B?

I always thought Oculus had potential to become next Apple, Palmer Luckey also possible to become a BIG man in VR history. But now, Oculus is a part of Facebook.

I didn't hate Facebook, just it is really not the right company to support Oculus go forward. Because the core value and culture of these two companies are totally different, even opposite. Currently the supporter of Oculus most are independent game developers, they are the most active part of the VR community, they can make really VR game which those big companies thought was highly risky. They are the most powerful force to push VR forward. What they are care about is open, freedom and trust. They was trust Oculus, because it came from crowdfunding, Palmer was really grass-root class and the hardware was also open, they encourage people to modify and opened a lot of research of how to make VR more engaging. But Facebook, the most commercial company, the core value of them is social and ADs, seems nothing to do with open and freedom, also no trust - big companies always lack of trust. I really cant imagine Oculus will remain open and freedom culture under the influence by Facebook.

Maybe this is good for Oculus, and also the future of VR will be better, but Oculus will no longer be the most important part for the future of VR, just for history.

Indeed, Facebook can support Oculus in financial part - they do have huge number of money, and also they have great development resources, but, now, even they will become really successful in not far future, that will be Facebook, not Oculus any more.

I really hope this was not happening.

BTW(March 30, 2013), yesterday, Michael Abrash joined Oculus as Chief Scientist. This definitely will make Oculus more than the Best in this field, I really can not imagine any better team than John + Michael, they are dream team for VR. But, I also worried about Valve, I didn't see any information from Valve since Facebook acquired Oculus, hope these will not affect the relationship between Oculus and Valve.

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