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Minecraft Oculus Rift deal cancelled because Facebook creeps Notch out

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:43 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has cancelled plans to implement Oculus Rift support, following Facebook’s acquisition of the virtual reality headset manufacturer.

minecraft

“We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal,” Persson wrote on Twitter.

“Facebook creeps me out.”

There is a Minecraft mod that supports the tech, Persson added.

In a lengthy update on his personal blog, Persson elaborated on his disappointment in the acquisition, saying VR is going to change the world, and that he was greatly impressed by a recent visit to Oculus HQ,

“What I saw was every bit as impressive as you could imagine. They had fixed all the major issues, and all that remained was huge design and software implementation challenges. 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,” he said.

“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.”

Mojang wanted Minecraft oin the system, which wouldn’t really work with Oculus, so Persson suggested a free, stripped-down version similar to Minecraft PI Edition. Both companies began sorting out the details.

“And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them,” persson said.

“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.”

Persson said he believes VR can do great things with social – but he doesn’t want to work with social, he wants to work with games, and as such he will be looking to oculus Rift’s competitors – at Valve and Sony, among others.

“I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me,” he said,

“And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition. I have the greatest respect for the talented engineers and developers at Oculus. It’s been a long time since I met a more dedicated and talented group of people. I understand this is purely a business deal, and I’d like to congratulate both Facebook and the Oculus owners. But this is where we part ways.”

Facebook announced its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift today. Reaction has been mixed; on the one hand, it’s great that Oculus will have access to significant financial resources and Facebook’s user base. On the other, John Carmack now works for Facebook, which is a world we never envisioned.

Minecraft could have been a major coup for Oculus, as it has 100 million registered users and has sold over 35 million copies.

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17 Comments

  1. Fin

    Facebook creeps him out, but Twitter is a-ok.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. salarta

    Didn’t see this until after. The majority opinion I’ve seen so far is businesspeople (as in, people that mostly don’t care about video games) saying it was a smart move by Facebook in trying to break into an emerging market after failing to succeed with mobile games, while most people that would have ever actually used the Oculus Rift are either already dropping all support or trying to convince themselves it just might work out.

    And when I say “convince themselves,” I mean they just about always say something like “… well, I know it’s Facebook and that really limits it, but at least Oculus Rift will get more money behind it?”

    Luckey just killed the Oculus Rift, and it’s pretty obvious what the motive really was. The generic, robotic PR speak makes that very clear.

    @Fin Facebook has a long, long list of things wrong with it that Twitter does not share: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Facebook.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Hyperx64

    As long as Oculus VR remains autonomous, than continuous funding from Facebook is a good thing. Facebook ain’t going anywhere, and John Carmack did not come down in the last shower.

    $2 Billion dollars ain’t nothing too sniff at, either.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Hyperx64

    A positive headline; “Kickstarter company now worth $2 Billion dollars.”

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Hyperx64

    @Hyperx64 Wrong Tab :P

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Dragon

    So, he was probably making a Rift version for little money in compensation.
    Makes sense to back out now, and then come back when a big fat check arrives at your doorstep :lol:

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Tr0n

    @Fin There’s a pretty big difference between FB and Twitter. Look it up. :)

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Fin

    That wikipedia article is the most circlejerk bullshit I’ve seen on there in a long time.

    Nobody’s been able to articulate why this is a bad deal, other than “i hate fb”.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. IceLemming

    I hate Facebook. And I was a kickstarter backer.
    Looking forward to Sony VR.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. silkvg247

    I don’t know why Notch just started an anti FB war. I don’t really use FB, I have no love or hate for it but I can see its purpose. I think if the money can accelerate the tech then it’s good for everyone. I doubt FB will stomp out the tech being used for games or anything.

    Quite an ignorant move by Notch tbh.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Kreion

    @Fin

    If you’d read the damn article you’d know.

    Facebook is not a company with the interests of Gamers at their heart – Facebook games are shit. Now they are in control of something which core gamers were very much looking forward to as a new way to experience their games – huzzah. We have no reason to trust Facebook to not screw everyone over here by making it into a social media thing. But 90% of gamers don’t WANT social media in their games they are two distinctly different thing which most people thing should remain separate.

    And now we come to today, when social media buys out a potential advancement in gaming. Why should anyone be happy about that other than Facebook and Occulus rift? Occulus Rift will not remain in control of the project – at the end of the day now Facebook has the final say in everything – a company whose main gaming product is the advancement of pay to win.

    This is why most people think this was a bad move.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Michael Ireland

    This thread is pretty much exactly what I expected to happen – people will end up blaming Facebook for the future failure of the tech instead of the tech’s own failures and limitations.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. piss4sucks

    ^ bleh bleh bleh shut up the only reason vr would fail is because its on pc if it was on xbox it would be massive and everyone would have one but pc is shit and only has like 6 customers who would be virgins anyway

    minecraft is good on xbox but is pretty shit on pc so i wouldnt be surprised if he has cancelled it for pc but then is still going to put it on xbox even he knows pc is the shittiest gaming place

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Fin

    @Kreion

    Facebook don’t make games. Saying Facebook games are shit is like saying iOS/Android/Sony/MS/PC games are shit. They’re a platform, not a developer (PROTIP: Oculus is a platform, not a developer too!).
    Er, why do we have a reason not to trust Facebook? Have they destroyed an acquisition before? Have they cancelled games? Do you have stats to back up “90% of gamers don’t WANT social media in their games”? What about “Occulus Rift will not remain in control of the project”?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. dorjenks

    @Fin Actually, Microsoft and Sony ARE developers too.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. TheWulf

    Pretty much what salarta said. Though I feel the Oculus Rift people got sheistered and they’re just trying to save face.

    It’s a sad day, really. Another promising venture owned by a faceless corporate enterprise. And Zucker is as identity-less as they come, but hey, with Facebook he can pick any number of identities!

    #reasonswhyfacebookiscreepy

    But, yeah, Twitter has actually been pretty ethical compared to the horrors of Facebook.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. TheWulf

    @6

    That doesn’t sound anything like what Notch would do, but it does sound like something a jealous Notch detractor would claim of him!

    Why do people despise the small, successful, ethical ones so much and fap all over the faceless, unethical, horror-laden corporate bodies? One continues to wonder. But hey, it doesn’t have anything do do with brand tribalism and social conditioning, right? Right? (Hint: That was sarcasm! Of course it does.)

    (I think I’ve been watching too much Stuart Ashen, I’m starting to pick up his sense of humour.)

    #17 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]