After initially speaking out against Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR back in March, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson is ready to move on.
Despite backing the Oculus Rift Kickstarter for $10,000 and subsequently being one of the first people to get his hands on the Oculus Rift DK1, the founder of development studio Mojang and creator of the wildly popular Minecraft (2011), Persson quickly spoke out against the Facebook purchase of Oculus VR, saying that the social media giant “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
He expanded his tweet into a full blog post on his personal blog:
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.
Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?
But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.
Fortunately, the rise of Oculus coincided with competitors emerging. None of them are perfect, but competition is a very good thing. If this means there will be more competition, and VR keeps getting better, I am going to be a very happy boy. 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.
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 are 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.
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey responded shortly thereafter. “He had the Rift for a year and had not even tried the Minecraft mod (which is really good), much less done any exploration work. I think Notch is a super cool guy, but it is really easy to “cancel” a project that was never started as an out,” he wrote in a Facebook comment.
Persson had promised Oculus Rift support for his in-development title 0x10c, but it was cancelled before the Facebook spat.
Nearly six months later, the dust has firmly settled and Persson says he’s over it. I must say that I’m happy to see Persson demonstrate that he’s not afraid to admit when he’s wrong, if only more people could manage the same.
And about now I’m officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus. I’m upset about there being a hole in my favorite sock instead.
— Markus Persson (@notch) August 15, 2014
Does this mean we’ll see a version of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift DK2? It certainly opens the option, but seeing as Persson has handed development of the game over to Jens “Jeb” Bergensten way back in 2011, it’s unlikely Persson’s call. Not to mention that there’s already a fantastic Oculus Rift mod for Minecraft with DK2 support on the way.