Notch made waves when he very publicly reacted to the news that Oculus Rift VR has been bought by Facebook the other day calling the Facebook corporation ‘creepy’ and stating that Minecraft for the Oculus Rift device was in production and will not be cancelled. However, Notch decided to go beyond this simple statement and elaborate on his beliefs regarding Virtual Reality, Facebook, and the Oculus Rift situation as well as the emerging controversy regarding the profits of the Oculus / FB deal with consideration to the fact that the product has its start on Kickstarter being funded by fans of the video games industry in hopes to get their hands on VR Gaming a lot sooner by directly funding the R&D and hopefully whatever would come next.
In fact Notch had recently taken a visit to the Oculus HQ in addition to being one of their original, top-level backers. Notch shares his enthusiasm and belief that the Oculus Rift product (before Facebooks buyout) is definitely something he calls “near the cusp” of a future technology gaming and the world overall definitely needs. He mentions meeting up with John Carmack at Oculus to try out a late iteration of the device and claims that Oculus had fixed almost all of their major issues with the platform. Though the full and complete Minecraft experience was never planned to land on Oculus, Notch tells us a slimmed down version capable of doing the solid 90fps required of Oculus titles was going to be created – until now.
During this discussion from a well respected gaming philosopher, creator, developer, and perhaps most important of all video games player Notch.
“Of course, they wanted Minecraft.”, Notch recalls, “And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them.”, the designer continues with his conclusion on VR and Facebook buying Oculus Rift:
“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.
Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?
But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.
Fortunately, the rise of Oculus coincided with competitors emerging. None of them are perfect, but competition is a very good thing. If this means there will be more competition, and VR keeps getting better, I am going to be a very happy boy. 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.”