Marcus "Notch" Persson says he has cancelled plans to bring his indie blockbuster Minecraft to Oculus, following news that the virtual reality headset company has sold out to Facebook.
“We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal,” said Persson. “Facebook creeps me out.”
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.— Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014
In a longer entry on his blog, Persson went into detail on his decision, and outlined a recent visit to Oculus headquarters, which left him both impressed and excited about partnering with the company.
“What I saw was every bit as impressive as you could imagine. They had fixed all the major issues, and all that remained was huge design and software implementation challenges. As someone who always felt like they were born five or ten years too late, I felt like we were on the cusp of a new paradigm that I might be able to play around with,” he said.
“I could be part of the early efforts to work out best practices, and while I have no doubt that in ten years we’ll look back at the problems with early VR applications in the same we look back at GUI problems with early PC games, it still felt exciting to me.”
“And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them,” Persson said.
“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.”
Persson remains enthusiastic about virtual reality, and said he would now look to work with Oculus' competitors at Sony and Vale.
“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,” he added.
“And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition. I have the greatest respect for the talented engineers and developers at Oculus. It’s been a long time since I met a more dedicated and talented group of people. 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.”
Facebook announced its deal to acquire Rift headset creator Oculus VR for approximately US$2 billion in cash and stock (NZ$2.3b) this morning.
The agreement between the companies states that figure is made up of 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at US$1.6b) and US$400m in cash, with another US$300m contingent on performance.