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.


“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.