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Minecraft Oculus Rift deal cancelled because Facebook creeps Notch out

Tuesday, 25th 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months ago
  4. Hyperx64

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

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Hyperx64

    @Hyperx64 Wrong Tab :P

    #5 9 months 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 9 months ago
  7. Tr0n

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

    #7 9 months 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 9 months ago
  9. IceLemming

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

    #9 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months ago
  15. dorjenks

    @Fin Actually, Microsoft and Sony ARE developers too.

    #15 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months ago

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