Minecraft creator cancels plans for Oculus Rift port: "Facebook creeps me out."

At least one major game developer isn't happy with today's announcement that Facebook plans to acquire Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, for $2 billion. Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of the hit sandbox game Minecraft, has announced he has stopped talks with Oculus VR to port the game to their hardware.

In a post on his Twitter account today, he stated the reason for the decision: "Facebook creeps me out: 

Later he posted a more lengthy response on his personal blog, Notch.net. Persson stated he visited the Oculus VR offices a couple of weeks ago and got excited about the potential for the technology. Talks then began between Oculus VR and Minecraft's team at Mojang about porting a slimmed down free version of Minecraft to the hardware.

However, Persson clearly indicates that the purchase of Oculus VR by Facebook is something that he is not comfortable with. He thinks that Facebook is only interested in "building user numbers" and while social applications could be a huge part of the future of virtual reality, he wants to concentrate on making VR games.

Persson added:

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 indicated that he might work with another VR technology company in the future, saying, "If this means there will be more competition, and VR keeps getting better, I am going to be a very happy boy.."

Source: Marcus Persson on Twitter and Notch.net | Image via Mojang

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Personally, I am unsure what to think of this situation. I want VR to succeed very much so, but I don't want it to become nothing more than a virtual reality chat room. I want to see it become much more widespread (including gaming, virtual tours, and movies). It can include virtual communication and that wouldn't bother me. What is somewhat promising is that Facebook is allowing them to remain a separate company and focus on games like they wanted from the start (at least according to what Facebook claims). I am not sure whether to trust this or not!

Ugh. Politics aside, my son will be devastated by this news.

...although, given the facebook tie-in, maybe I won't want him on this device anyway.

huh! i know next facebook's move! FACEBOOK RADIO! tune in into facebook radio and discover and share songs from a catolog of 21 milion songs while you're repeatedly clicking on those like buttons. now that every major company did this, why not us! -facebook 2014

If the choices for VR are Facebook or Sony, I'd best write a cheque to Mr Zuckerberg. As a PC gamer, I'd toyed with getting a Rift anyway, so this extra money towards the development is only a good thing for me

I was reading the development of this with John at the helm for a while, and it was really exciting. Was waiting to see how and where things went with it, and wanted to try it out myself.
Now that the "like" button company has got their hands all over it, I feel somewhat empty and disappointed that it's just probably going to be used to push ads and every move you'll be asked to link it to an account or something that these facebook people do.
I had facebook, didn't like it, stopped using it. Now it's getting everywhere.

I think that notch's personal politics are confused and get in the way of a lot of promising things for the company.

e.g. remember when Microsoft approached Mojang to have minecraft certified for windows? He went off on a rant about how Microsoft and windows 8 is putting developers in a wall garden, and are an affront to the openness of the PC platform. This just made him look silly.

1. Developers were more then welcome to code for windows outside of the RT runtime.
2. The thing that Microsoft wanted to do had nothing to do with windows 8. It was just a vetting of their code to give them a trusted certificate, that would allow minecraft to run with some perks, like UAC not bugging users.
3. Despite his apparent negativity towards closed platforms like the windows store, he was more then happy to bring minecraft to iOS, Xbox360 and PS3, witch I'm sure all have a much stricter vetting process then the windows store.

So,.. Facebook is buying oculus rift. Okay... There expanding into the hardware world, witch is something that tech company's seem to be doing now days. You know, company's like.

Google
Microsoft
Valve
Ubuntu
Mozilla
Amazon

and so on. If Facebook wants to expand, then their going to have to step into the world of devices and hardware, because I think in terms of the Facebook site, they have monetized it to the point where they ain't getting any more money out of it without pissing off the users.

It will be interesting to see what Facebook does in this space, and with them acquiring such a technology, it does leave to question what they are planning.

But. To just shun them and stop development so abruptly before you even know how this will or will not effect the development, is poor business practice to say the least. If it terns out that this will have no effect on how it will be developed and the team can go on, business as usual, then Mojang will now have some ass's to kiss to get back on track, thanks to notch being such a loose canon.

Well, what sense is it to invest more money into a project you're unsure of? Let Facebook do the leg work, let them be the ones to show how much OR means to them, and how much time and effort they're willing to spend to ensure Oculus becomes more than vaporware.

It's his opinion, his business, his decision really. Let's see if Facebook can shed light on their intentions, goals, and so forth.

I think he's just taking the opportunity to whine about facebook. Porting your game to support oculus doesn't take much effort, certainly not enough to warrant "talks" or "deals".

John Carmack talks about "scale" for the product being something Facebook can help with. No idea what he's talking about (nothing new there!) but that must be good?

"Their motives are too unclear and shifting"

Sounds like google haha. Actually, it would have been interesting how Notch would have reacted if google had bought Oculus

Everyone so upset about Facebook aquiring Oculus yet most of us have a facebook account. The Oculus team must have discused what Facebook was willing to do with the product and it surely concord with their vision. Kind of tired of this "i hate big corporation for any reason I can find". Facebook will probably only push the product many of us are eager to get even further.

Philippe Pomerleau said,
Everyone so upset about Facebook aquiring Oculus yet most of us have a facebook account. The Oculus team must have discused what Facebook was willing to do with the product and it surely concord with their vision. Kind of tired of this "i hate big corporation for any reason I can find". Facebook will probably only push the product many of us are eager to get even further.

That's a possibility but it's also possible that they just offered them money and they accepted.

Considering Facebook, in the gaming world, is mostly known for social games, I think I may look into a different promising company for Virtual Reality. Besides, what's the point with Occulus VR if all facebook's going to do with them is make the Rift mainly for Social Games??

warwagon said,
Why can't it still be a great VR device with facebook owning them?

The answer to your question, is in your question.

warwagon said,
Why can't it still be a great VR device with facebook owning them?
well fb saying that they're gonna plaster it with their logo and UI for one

i'm not too keen on fb buying oculus rift, but wasn't oculus already having issues with production and whatnot?
maybe they saw the fb buyout as a good thing? they still remain independent, right?

Tangmeister said,
I crave the day when people can make puns without other comedians adding things like "I see what you did there"...

Craving that...
Problems of the first world variety I guess

Anarkii said,

I see what you did there!

I see you you did there! (occular referring to eye referring to seeing - yeah it was a stretch. it's been a long day :p )

I cancelled my pre-order because of Facebook buying Oculus VR. Not giving them my money until I know what Facebook plans to do with them.

nvllsvm said,
I cancelled my pre-order because of Facebook buying Oculus VR. Not giving them my money until I know what Facebook plans to do with them.

Same. Not giving any money to an advertising company.

Morpheus it is then.

Lord Method Man said,

Same. Not giving any money to an advertising company.

Morpheus it is then.

If you already own a ps4 then great. But if you do not or had no intention of doing that since you have a pc for gaming, then just changing support to Sony isn't viable for many, if not most, of the OR supporters.