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Oculus: John Carmack Thinks The Facebook Acquisition Was The Right Thing

The father of FPS games believes that Facebook acquiring them was the right thing in hindsight, as Oculus‘ situation helped Palmer Luckey’s company to be less of a mess.

The relation between Facebook and Oculus aren’t the best, and the players don’t always approve of it, as eventually, you must have a Facebook account to play games, as these will replace the independent Oculus accounts. Still, John Carmack has had a different view in a post published on Hacker News. „Perhaps unusually, I wanted Facebook to impress itself more strongly on Oculus post-acquisition because, frankly, Oculus was a bit of a mess. Instead, Oculus was given an enormous amount of freedom for many years,” Carmack wrote.

Remember, Carmack was the chief technology officer of Oculus from 2013 to 2019, and he worked mostly on mobile VR technology, such as the Samsung GearVR, the Oculus Go, and the Oculus Quest. However, in November 2019, he stepped down to continue working with them as a consultant, and he says he is „reasonably happy and effective” in this role. He confirmed that he was never given orders to „shut up and soldier,” but he also mentioned his limited influence. It was partially due to him not relocating to California where Oculus’ headquarters are located. It also happened because the power structure was „built into early Oculus DNA.”

„The political dynamics never quite aligned with an optimal set of leadership personalities and beliefs where I would have had the best leverage, but there was progress,” Carmack wrote, without mentioning any names or further details.

Carmack thinks the communication at Oculus and Facebook as „a bit passive-aggressive,” due to the nature of large organizations, but again, he didn’t go into details. However, Tom Forsyth, an ex-Oculus developer, replied on Twitter: „You [as in Carmack] didn’t see much of pre-buyout Oculus – it was not like that. What happened was a multi-way tension between old Oculus, Facebook, and the new wave that came in during the acquisition (Valve, Carbon Design), etc.”

Unfortunately, Carmack didn’t talk about the obligatory Facebook accounts, while Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, said in August he truly believed that a Facebook account would remain optional. Sadly, he was wrong.

Source: PCGamer

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