This afternoon, Facebook made the surprise announcement that it has acquired Oculus, the company behind the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. The move has caused an outcry among developers, but perhaps most notable among them is from Minecraft’s Markus Persson.
After the news was made public, Persson fired off a tweet under his @notch handle reading, “We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.” Simple, sweet, and to the damning point.
He followed this up with a long post on his Notch.net website, where he waxes poetically about virtual reality and talks about the upcoming move to bring Minecraft to the VR headset, following it up with a swift and uncompromising statement of unhappiness about this acquisition:
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 … 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.
Many developers in general aren’t so keen on the idea of the social network being behind the product. Oculus’ blog is filled with upset commenters, and concerns include Facebook using the company to amass more data. Some are calling Oculus a sellout. Persson perhaps summed it up best, saying, “I understand this is purely a business deal, and I’d like to congratulate both Facebook and the Oculus owners. But this is where we part ways.”