At Oculus Connect 2015 I sat down with Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey to learn more about the latest at the conference and the impending launch of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Although the company’s 2012 Kickstarter seems like ancient history, Oculus may yet have a little something in store for the folks that helped to get the ball rolling.
Speaking with Luckey, I recalled the record-breaking 2012 Oculus Rift Kickstarter. The young company, almost entirely unheard of at the time, took to the crowdfunding platform, raising funds to create development kit for the Oculus Rift (this would become the ‘DK1’). The ultimate goal was that the dev kit would allow developers to begin creating content for the Rift so that gamers would have something to play when the consumer version of the headset launched.
Oculus set their Kickstarter goal at $250,000, but blasted through that in less than 24 hours. The campaign would go on to raise more than $2.4 million, 974% of its goal, making it one of the most successful ever. 9,522 backers contributed to the campaign, and without their help, Oculus may have never taken off as it did.
And so after an exciting journey from then to now, with the launch of the consumer Oculus Rift finally on the horizon, would Oculus remember the folks that came together to support the vision of the Rift long before so many others?
As it turns out, the answer may be yes.
I asked Luckey directly, who, with a classic twinkle in his eye and a hint of a smile, dropped a knowing tease without spilling the beans.
“I can’t say anything about that right now… I will talk about that in the future.”
I had suggested perhaps a jump to the front of the pre-order line for backers, but there’s really no telling what recognition there might be, big or small, for that band of early Rifters.