Well that didn’t take long – following the fallout from Facebook announcing their crazy acquisition of Oculus Rift for $2 billion dollars, lots of notable developers and enthusiasts alike have been speaking their minds regarding the future of the virtual reality company.
Coming from this, Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has announced that he is cancelling his official Oculus Rift enabled version of Minecraft. Previously, Notch had backed the project when it was on Kickstarter, and talked about his excitement for the potential the device had.
In a blog post that he wrote following the announcement, however, he declared that he is highly disappointed in the acquisition, and is even frustrated to see his investment go towards building value in the company, only to be later acquired by a parent company. He wrote:
“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. And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition.”
Notch also made a point in mentioning that he recently visited the offices at Oculus, and that he was highly impressed with their work. He had a chat with John Carmack, co-founder of id Software and a former programmer at the studio, who recently left his position at the company to wholly embrace VR with Oculus.
He further elaborated on his opinions towards Facebook buying out Oculus Rift:
“Of course, they wanted Minecraft. I said that it doesn’t really fit the platform, since it’s very motion based, runs on Java (that has a hard time delivering rock solid 90 fps, especially since the players build their own potentially hugely complex levels), and relies a lot on [Graphical User Interface]. But perhaps it would be cool to do a slimmed down version of Minecraft for the Oculus. Something free, similar to the Minecraft PI Edition, perhaps? So I suggested that, and our people started talking to their people to see if something could be done. And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them.
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.”
In closing, Notch gave praise and congratulations to the team at Oculus, a “dedicated and talented group of people,” in his words. However, he did firmly reiterate his stance in saying: “this is where we part ways.”
Despite his dismissive attitude towards the acquisition, this is not stopping Notch’s aspirations for virtual reality. Mojang is working on other VR projects, and that he added that “competition is a very good thing.”