Mojang, the company that developed everyone’s favorite indie game success story, Minecraft (2011), might be the first in the world to have received the Oculus Rift developer kit. Two weeks back, Oculus Inc. shared the latest on their manufacturing progress. The first Oculus Rift pilot run had been completed which resulted in 40 developer kits. Though Oculus said they still had some changes to make after the pilot run, we speculated that some of those 40 kits would be going out to prominent developers and it seems we may have been right.
The photo above, which shows Markus “Notch” Persson and Jens “Jeb” Bergensten wearing the Oculus Rift developer kits, was reportedly tweeted earlier today by another Mojang employee and taken down shortly thereafter. ‘DullDieHard’, a quick-thinking Reddit user, appears to have saved the image before it was taken down.
Notch has formerly said that he’d definitely be making his latest game project, 0x10c, compatible with the VR headset. He’s also said that Minecraft Oculus Rift support is likely. He claims to have backed the Oculus Rift Kickstarter with $10,000, which would mean 33 developer kits for his company, Mojang.
I’m doubting that all 33 kits were delivered today along with the two shown above. Rather, these are likely pilot run units which Oculus Inc. sent to Mojang as thanks of their support of the Kickstarter. It’s also possible that Notch didn’t order a full 33 kits, but rather donated some extra cash because he wanted to see the project make it through the Kickstarter.
If Mojang ended up with the Rift units from the pilot run, it’s likely that other developers will be receiving them too. If I had to guess, I’d say that the Oculus sent units to the following: Valve / Michael Abrash, Adhesive Games (Hawken), Epic Games, id / John Carmack, Roberts Space Industries (Star Citizen), Cliff Bleszinski, and Unity.
Update, 2/19, 9:47 AM: It looks like the reason for the removal of the photo is that Mojang accidentally broke an embargo set by Oculus. Notch acknowledged the mistake just a few hours ago:
If we ever received something like the Oculus Rift, we’d probably be stupid enough to tweet pics of it immediately, despite agreeing not to. — Markus Persson (@notch) February 19, 2013
Of course, if that hypothetical situation arose, we’d apologize for it. — Markus Persson (@notch) February 19, 2013