The excitement and anticipation surrounding the Oculus Rift turned into a lot of anger, rage and confusion when Mark Zuckerberg and Palmer Luckey announced Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR last week. Mojang’s Notch created even more sparks when he halted talks about bringing a version of Minecraft to the virtual reality headset.
While statements from both Facebook and Oculus have attempted to calm the flames, and Luckey has been fielding questions on Reddit to assure people that the Rift won’t suddenly turn into an ad-riddled social media tool, the negative reaction is still causing problems.
On Reddit, Luckey revealed the extent of the outrage: he’s now getting death threats.
“We expected a negative reaction from people in the short term, we did not expect to be getting so many death threats and harassing phone calls that extended to our families,” Luckey said on Reddit, yesterday.
“We know we will prove ourselves with actions and not words, but that kind of shit is unwarranted, especially since it is impacting people who have nothing to do with Oculus,” he continued.
It boggles the mind that reactions can become so extreme over a business deal that will ostensibly bring the Rift to market sooner. There are certainly a lot of questions about what Facebook’s role will be, but Oculus VR has been fairly transparent, constantly communicating and attempting to reassure.
The only thing to have actually come out of the impending deal is Valve’s Michael Abrash joining the company. And it’s Facebook’s acquisition that’s been the impetus for this move. “Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can.”