Facebook has acquired virtual reality platform and headset manufacturer Occulus VR for a cool $2 billion, in a deal that has upset many of the company’s original fans and backers.
Minecraft developer Markus Persson was one major supporter of the Occulus Rift headset, and was in negotiations to bring a version of his popular game to the immersive platform. However, after hearing of the deal with the “creepy” Facebook, Persson has pulled out of any such development.
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.
— Notch (@notch) March 25, 2014
Occulus was born on the web, with the company raising $2.4 million from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, but many of those donors are now feeling cheated. Under the Kickstarter terms, the backers are not investors in Occulus VR, but instead more like pre-order customers, and as such they do not get a penny from the $2 billion acquisition.
Not only do some feel cheated that they provided some of the “seed” money and are not seeing the return of corporate investors who came on board at a later date, but the sale to Facebook, with its datamining/privacy-violating history, makes the situation even worse.
On the Occulus Rift’s Kickstarter page, Sergey Chubukov said:
You selling out to Facebook is a disgrace. It damages not only your reputation, but the whole of crowdfunding. I cannot put into words how betrayed I feel by this.
Photograph by Sergey Galyonkin