Oculus deal closed in three days, some Kickstarter backers want a refund

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:26 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Oculus Rift co-founder Brendan Iribe has said he and the company’s other co-founders Palmer Luckey and Michael Antonov “never intended to sell the company.”


Speaking with VentureBeat, Iribe said despite its original plans, it “got the deal done with Facebook in three days.”

“That’s how accelerated it was,” he said. “We locked ourselves up in the Facebook HQ and did the deal. I have been through a few of these deals now and they usually take months. This was done in three days. That’s incredible. That’s their commitment to moving fast. We are moving fast and getting together to make the next computing platform.”

Iribe said originally, the team was “building this thing and going along this path” when the co-founders met Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who was ” really interested: in what the company was doing.

“He was fascinated like other people in the geek community, or gaming community,” explained Iribe. “He was really excited about how we were making this thing work. He wanted me to show him the demo at Facebook. I told him there was a better demo down here in Irvine. He was able to hop on a flight down. He met the team. He saw the latest demos. We talked about the vision. The whole thing was about getting more comfortable with each other and the vision and becoming friends. He and I got to be really good friends, and Palmer met him, too. And then he asked, ‘How can I help? How can Facebook help you?’

“We described our roadmap. Then he said, ‘What if we partner with you? You stay the same. Stay who you are. You expand that vision and focus on other things also. Gaming is core. But how can we help and invest significantly into the platform, the hardware, and bring down the cost of it. We could make it more optimized, do custom silicon, make this even better. What if we also invest in the parts so you can sell the virtual reality platform at cost?’

“It would use the best components and build a superior technology platform. Then let’s sell it at cost.”

Palmer Luckey added that Facebook and Oculus didn’t seem an “obvious fit, unlike WhatsApp or Instagram.”

“You can see how they fit together,” he said. “If I were to read the headline, I would be confused about why it would be a good thing. We’ve already said quite a bit. We’re going to have more good news about what we will be able to do now. We are working with Facebook, and we can’t announce it yet.

“Every developer we are working with has had a very positive reaction. My inbox is flooded by email. A huge number of developers. Some people are upset. But the vast majority who are actually software developers see why this is a good thing.”

Luckey admitted that Notch was “an exception to the rule,” but after he sees “everything we are able to do, I hope he will change his mind.”

It was announced overnight Facebook had acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion. Obviously, this hasn’t set well with some of the tech’s Kickstarter backers, and a few backers are asking for refunds.