My Feelings on the Facebook Acquisition of Oculus

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Big news yesterday! And the result? An equally big storm and division in the VR community! No matter what side of the fence you're on, this isn't going to go away quickly.

I can see both sides of it myself, and I've really been back and forth on it. I absolutely hate Facebook, but I absolutely love VR.

Sure, VR can exist without Oculus and shouldn't be synonymous with each other, but right now VR = Oculus. I know others like Sony, GameFace, VRelia, CastAR, InfinitEye, etc are getting into VR too, but Oculus is further along and defining it right now. It has the best people working on it, and will be producing the all around best VR hardware for the best price. Without Oculus as we've known it, VRs landscape and future is very different.

I understand the outrage and emotion against the buyout. Facebook does not have a clean record, and there is no 100% guarantee that all of the scenarios that people have been fearing won't come to pass. Palmer Luckey can try all he wants to reassure people like he has, but the fact is they're just words. And while Facebook may not get involved with the direction of Oculus and the Rift right now, things may change later. They just can't offer any proof to show that the 2 companies will remain independent.

And by people expressing themselves against this they are trying the only way they can to protect the future they have invested in. The instinctual idea is "If we speak out enough, maybe it's not to late and we can convince them to not sell to Facebook". For all I know, that could work. Sadly, I doubt it, but it's not impossible.

But for me it all boils down back to a single question.

Do I hate Facebook more then I love VR?

With strong feeling for both, it's not an easy, clear answer. I've given it some time, and I've come up with...


My love for VR wins. And with it, as much as it pains me, I'm willing to give my money to Facebook to get the best possible VR I can get. I can't say that to do so otherwise would "Let Facebook win", but it would let Facebook negatively impact my life, and I would certainly lose.

So with that, at least for now, I will continue forward and develop Rift experiences. And hope to enjoy Rift experiences other create.

I tried to approach this situation as level-headed as possible. I hope I achieved that. And I encourage others to try to as well, no matter what side of the fence you're currently on. I'm seeing blindness from both sides.

People on the pro Oculus side need to stop berating people on the other side, saying they're whining, calling them children, trying to silence them, or acting like they're idiots with unfounded/misguided views.

People on the anti-Facebook side need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Stifle the urges to make a gut reaction. Have your opinion, and express it, but keep a open mind.

If you can boil it down to the same single question I have. Great! That's a good first step. Come up with your answer, and try to move forward, whichever direction it takes you.


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