Facebook Acquisition Made Oculus Legit to Big Developers, says CEO
When news broke in March that Facebook would buy Oculus, the tech startup behind the VR gaming headset the Rift, more than a few fans of the company complained about how it was now losing its indie cred. One such fan—Marcus “Notch” Persson, the creator of global indie game phenomenon Minecraft, even went so far as to cancel development of the Rift-optimized version of the game. But today, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe commented on how the Facebook acquisition actually legitimized the platform in the eyes of many developers.
According to a post on TechCrunch, Iribe appeared at the site’s Disrupt NY event today and talked about how the Facebook deal reassured developers who might’ve been gun shy about investing lots of time and money on a platform that could run out of money if it remained independent:
“The biggest thing I think for us was that some of the really large developers out there who typically look at a platform and are late adopters to a new platform—because they need to see the monetization, they need to see the return, they want to see a huge audience—they turned around to us after the announcement and said ‘we’re so happy to see a new platform. It’s about time. We’re all in. We’re ready to start developing content for this.’ And so now for the general developer, there’s a greater chance that you’re going to be able to develop something and then create a business off of our platform, knowing that with this partnership, it’s going to be bigger, better, faster.”
Moreover, Iribe explained that the Oculus Developer Kit 2 went on pre-sale just a few days before the announcement of the Facebook deal—and in the time since the kit was available for purchase, the company “sold as many units in the first 12 months of DK1 as we did in the first month of DK2.” Clearly a lot of that had to do with the increase in word of mouth from the Oculus Rift’s showing at events throughout the industry. But it’s also clear that the involvement of Facebook showed developers that Oculus wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Not only that, but shortly after the deal was announced, ZeniMax—game publisher and former employer of Oculus Chief Technology Officer John Carmack—alleged that the Rift was built on stolen intellectual property. Those are allegations that Oculus has so far vehemently denied.
Obviously you know a company is the real deal when huge monolithic corporations like ZeniMax start trying to give you a black eye.
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