“I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus,” he said.
Nevertheless, he believes Facebook are a “powerful force” willing to propel Oculus in the right direction.
“I share some of your misgivings about companies ‘existing and operating only to be acquired’,” Carmack told concerned VR fans. “Company acquisitions, while still (usually) being a trade between willing parties that in theory leaves both better off, have much more of an element of speculation rather than objective assessment of value.”
What’s more, Carmack was surprised by the speed of Oculus acquisition, and by the identity of its new owner.
“I have zero personal background with [Facebook], and I could think of other companies that would have more obvious synergies,” he said.
“However, I do have reasons to believe that they get the Big Picture as I see it, and will be a powerful force towards making it happen. You don't make a commitment like they just did on a whim.”
Carmack noted that VR’s more passionate fans would have preferred Oculus to be “like Valve”, building a “new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up”.
“The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves,” wrote Carmack. “Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state.
“VR won't be like that. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact. The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.”
Read our Tim’s thoughts on why Oculus chose Facebook, and then tell us yours in the comments.