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John Carmack on Oculus Rift Acquisition: “I wasn’t expecting Facebook”

john carmack 03-31-14-1

While the ripples of Facebook wholly acquiring virtual reality headset makers Oculus Rift and fans are still speaking their outrage at the entire thing, one of the more notable developers on the team has been speaking out at regular avenues to try to help calm the masses. That person is John Carmack, former id Software programmer and co-founder, who left the company in November of last year for Oculus.

In a very well thought out and coherent Tumblr post, Peter Berkman, one of the members of chiptune fused group Anamnaguchi made a strong point that technology businesses exist and operate only to get acquired by a larger parent company in the future. He also made a note of the lack of cohesion between the realms of influence between Oculus and Facebook, to which John replied:

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting Facebook (or this soon). I have zero personal background with them, and I could think of other companies that would have more obvious synergies.”

John did make a note, however, that while he wasn’t expecting a Facebook acquisition, Oculus being bought out by another company was something he was definitely considering an inevitable part of the business market that Oculus was a part of. He said that while both him and fans are upset at companies existing and operating only to be acquired, the buyout was still inevitable:

“There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up.

VR won’t be like that. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact. The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.”

The very interesting bit, in my opinion, was John mentioning that he was not involved in any of the negotiations – he simply talked with Mark Zuckerberg about technology for an afternoon, and then found out the next week that he bought out Oculus Rift.

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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic