Appearing this week on the stage of Oculus competitor HTC at the Tokyo Game Show, Oculus founder emeritus Palmer Luckey affirmed that he’s continuing to work on projects within the VR industry.
Luckey’s appearance on the HTC Vive stage during TGS 2017 was a panel discussion that touched on a variety of topics surrounding the Japanese VR scene and beyond.
Back in June the New York Times reported that, following his departure from Oculus, Luckey was working on a new business involving border security. But that seems to be only one of a number of initiatives; Luckey affirmed during his TGS appearance that he’s still working within the VR space too.
“I have a new company, I can’t talk about my projects too much yet, but I’m still working in the virtual reality industry on some very exciting things.”
Back in a May interview Luckey offer a hint into what his next project might entail; he spoke of his interest in the anime Sword Art Online, in which characters become trapped in a VR MMORPG—if they die in the game, they die in real life. Luckey said that he liked the idea of VR having significant consequences.
“This concept of [significant consequences] is part of one of the projects I am working on. But I won’t talk about any details,” he said, and added that it was still “very early” for the project.
Back on the HTC Vive stage at TGS this week, Luckey distanced himself from Oculus, saying that even though he founded the company, he’s interested in all of VR.
“Don’t think of me as an Oculus person. Just think of me as a VR person. Everything. Sony, HTC, other companies. Everything.”
Despite distancing himself from his former company, elements of the discussion regarding his opinions of HTC may also have been aimed at Oculus.
[…] I have a lot of respect for that, I think it means a lot that HTC is looking at all markets, not just Western markets, not just China, not just Taiwan, not just Japan, not just the US, not just Europe… they really are looking at all the difference markets, and actually spending money to put their money where their mouth is… I don’t know if that idiom comes across in Japanese.
There are a lot of companies that say they care about the whole world and the global market, but just look at where they’d spending the money, look at where they’re actually putting their marketing dollars. You can tell who they actually care about and who they don’t care about that way.
I’ve always been pretty supportive of all VR companies. [For instance] right when Sony announced PlayStation VR, I did the same thing—I was so excited to see other companies really entering the marketplace and seriously investing in it, and funding developers, funding awareness, getting hardware out there. I think HTC is doing the same thing, so of course I’m going to say good things about HTC. It’s no special preference for HTC, it’s a preference for the way that they’re doing business right now.
For more on what Luckey has been up to following his departure from Oculus, take a look at ‘Palmer’s Post-Oculus Interview’ Series: