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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
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9,522 backers pledged $2,437,429 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Emile Nijssen & Joel Edelstein on

      VR is a part of the future. We are a community that believes this, but outside of this relatively small community the average person needs more convincing. It is of course something of a relief to see a company the size of Facebook willing to bet a decent amount of their play money on Oculus, and it will undoubtedly bring some attention to VR in the short term, but at what cost to the VR community, and Oculus' mission?

      The worry is two-fold. Oculus was very successful in rallying a community around a single piece of technology; they acted to focus VR enthusiasts on one "best path" forward. Oculus' success to date is based in no small part around their community outreach and their position as an independent engine focused entirely on the improvement of the VR experience. As a small division of Facebook they forfeit that position. And that’s where the second and primary concern comes in.

      Facebook is a huge company that does something very boring, very clever and slightly evil. It manages an enormous database that collects vast amounts of information from a population that is not yet savvy to the downsides of trading their private information for the right to use a service at no cost. To date Facebook has dabbled in a variety of hardware projects, and most of them have failed (who all owns a Facebook phone say yeah). It's safe to say that hardware is not their focus or core competency.

      At this point Facebook's value is hyperinflated. They have value only because of the size of their user base, and while they have been king of the hill for almost a decade there is no law of the universe that prevents them from sharing the fate of Myspace or Friendster. Facebook seems aware of this, and it is doing a very smart thing by spending money while the money is there to spend in an attempt to secure its future position. Instagram, for example, was purchased primarily for its user base. There was nothing preventing Facebook from offering a competing service, but it was much smarter to absorb existing users than to try to attract them from a competitor. Everything Facebook buys is focused on driving customers to the mothership, whether or not they would explicitly prefer not to feed the Facebook machine with every intimate detail of their lives.

      So one has to ask oneself, does Facebook want Oculus so that it can be a part of improving the VR experience, or does it simply see Oculus as a wearable information gathering device? A week ago Oculus was a very successful company about a year away from releasing its first consumer VR hardware. Now Oculus’ mission almost has to be to feed more user data into Facebook. It’s hard to imagine a product being released that is not hard-linked to a Facebook account. Now instead of just being a VR pioneer, Oculus users can become the first guinea pigs to share everything they do in their virtual worlds with the Facebook database.

      Where you are looking, what you are looking at, who you are interacting with, when are you doing it. These are all more data points for Facebook. And of course there is nothing stopping them from putting targeted ads into a user’s field of vision. Enjoying that virtual world? You might enjoy it more with a Coke.

      I'm not a fan of Facebook, but I still use the platform. Part of me is impressed that Facebook has managed to stay relevant for as long as it has, part of me is disgusted by what it does to do so. All of me is worried about what part Oculus has in this puzzle. I just can’t, as hard as I try, imagine anything good.

    2. Drew Madsen on

      I backed this concept in the hopes they'd make something wonderful. Sadly all they did was make them selves wonderfully rich.

    3. John Susek on

      I'm disappointed. You had the potential to become bigger than Facebook on your own.

    4. Missing avatar

      Grillo del mal on

      Congratulations on the sale :)
      I'm happy that the idea that I helped backing ended up being evaluated for 2.000 million USD, is like if every dollar that anyone donated just turned into ~1000 dollars (well... is a lot less, but i'm not in the mood to do math right now xD)
      Just hope that you can continue being as open and continue working with the same (or more) freedom that you have done until now :)

    5. Missing avatar

      weio on

      Pack it up, the dream is gone.

    6. Missing avatar

      paulie Flomar on

      Sellout DICKS. You should refund every dollar.

    7. Peter Moorman on

      This a big disappointment.

    8. KoboldPrime on

      In the months since backing this, I began to believe that the Rift would be a commercial flop, but I mostly didn't express this opinion. But between this and Sony's VR project, I'm absolutely sure that the Rift is doomed.

    9. Datayum on

      Shame on you Palmer, shame on you. A terrible move indeed, I'm so upset at the idea that this great community of generous people kickstarted Facebook.
      Believing you'll keep full control on Oculus and the Rift is very naive.

    10. Drew Madsen on

      If they actually gave a crud, they'd damage control here, not on reddit.

    11. Noah Wexo on

      I first read about this on ArsTechnica, and I literally checked the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st. To paraphrase several people's comments from that article, I don't have an F big enough to go with the WT.

      This is a huge betrayal, Palmer. Make no mistake about it, you've just lost a huge chunk of the faith and pride we all had in you and in what you started _with_our_help_. When this journey started, a little voice in the back of my head said "this kid is too young to do this right," but I went ahead and donated anyways because I was so impressed with the technology and with the idealistic drive of this very young man. He made me believe. Today is the day I see where his inexperience has led us: straight to selling out to Facebook.

      David Tse could not be more wrong regarding the attitude of what I suspect is the vast majority of Oculus's Kickstarter backers. We did not pre-order a product. We gave Palmer our hard-earned cash to help start what we thought was the beginning of a VR revolution by a small intensely-focused group of visionaries and engineers. Having them sell out to Facebook, which is widely seen as the embodiment of all that is wrong with the new digital economy, is truly heart-breaking. There is no such thing as autonomy when you're in bed with Facebook. WhatsApp is learning that lesson right now.

      This is a sad day.

    12. Drew Madsen on

      I can't trust some one that sells out like that man. They already fooled me once, I won't be fooled again.

    13. S J Bennett on

      To Drew Madsen: Palmer's already said the gaming community is the only place with the expertise to build VR experiences right now, and in light of that their products have to remain open; see…

    14. Drew Madsen on

      A sell out is a sell out, and it means the end of VR Gaming. Welcome your Social VR overlords.

    15. S J Bennett on

      For those looking for the aforementioned damage control:

      - Oculus needs lots more cash and scale to make the Rift as good as it can be and deliver on the VR we all wanted
      - Facebook likes the cut of Oculus's jib and gives them infrastructure, capital and other resources in return for a financial stake in the next big thing

      From the sound of it Oculus retains all the autonomy they need to deliver on their goal, just with FB's considerable backing. Good luck to them.

    16. Drew Madsen on

      They don't get to remain autonomous, 1.5 billion of the deal is in Facebook shares. If you don't think Facebook is going to but in on every decision they make, you are dreaming. Like saying the NSA wouldn't spy on every day citizen's phonecalls or e-mails.

    17. Drew Madsen on

      I want them to push the making of games, REAL games, for the Oculus rift. Not turn the rift into a marketing ploy for facebook.

    18. Missing avatar

      David Tse on

      Seriously? Why is everyone so pissed? I have two problems with all of your complaints. First off, kickstarter is for doing exactly what it's called. It's for kick starting projects and the companies that create them. We "donated"(really we just preordered a product) and they used the money to create the product and deliver it to us. Now that the product we paid for is finished and in our hands we are no longer entitled to any say about what the company does. We are not investors in the company we simply helped create their first product by pre-ordering it, or buying something lesser. You may not like the deal, but you are in the same boat as everyone else who did not back the original product. You have no extra entitlements or rights because you were a backer. You should not feel personally insulted by this deal. Oculus successfully fulfilled all of their obligations to every single kickstarter backer by delivering a kickass dev kit. This move is not a big fuck you, it’s a decision they made as a company to grow and create the best VR products they can for us.
      My second problem is, what’s wrong with this deal? Oculus gets to remain completely autonomous just with a shit load more money to make better products for US. This deal is a great thing for Oculus, and for all of us. We all believe in VR and this deal is going to make it so much better and get here so much faster.
      PS. Can someone please tell me why everyone hates Facebook as a company so much? To me it looks like everyone has an irrational hatred of Facebook, but what have they ever done to deserve such hatred? I could have missed something horrible they did, but to me they seem like perfectly decent company that’s going to help grow oculus rapidly.

    19. Drew Madsen on

      God, this whole situation makes me feel sick.

    20. Drew Madsen on

      The fact that they haven't even posted an update as they released the news, they know how much of a scumbag move this is.

    21. Missing avatar

      Nawfel Tricha on

      This is disheartening news.
      I will never contribute on Kickstarter again. This is not how crowd funding should work.

    22. Matt Johnson on

      This stinks Palmer. I can't believe you would do this. Very sad tonight.

    23. Hugie on

      Oculus should not be about the money, it's about an idea, the future of VR. We supported your idea with our money and our heart. You earned your success, but this?
      With facebook, its only about money. Now we are not the customer, we are the product.

      Since you now have ~400M$ in cash, it should'nt be that hard to pay your disappointed backers back their $2,437,429.
      Thats 0.6% of your cash.
      Or only 0.1% of the total 2 B$.
      You won't feel it, but we will.

      Maybe even let your kickstarters get a bigger share? Double it? 0.2%.

    24. Drew Madsen on

      Seeing as you all sold out to face book, I think I'd like to un-kickstart this project. Where do I apply for a refund?

    25. Missing avatar

      James Fitzwater on

      Oculus Rules! Facebook doesn't. This is sad.

    26. Mathias Hagstrøm on

      I am one of those backers that did not have the funds for a dev kit. I backed in this project for its vision and the people behind it. I have really come to own this project. Felt that my humble pledge made a difference in making an affordable open VR platform. No one knows how Facebook will influence the rift development, maybe something good will come out of it eventually. But I still feel left behind. Facebook does not have a vision I feel passionate about. I think most of us backers have felt extremely passionate about the Rift. We all took ownership of this project way beyond our pledge. We followed your every step and shared your achievements and our excitement with friends across the internet and in real life.
      But today it is difficult not to felt left behind... We where not here to get a dev kit. We where to help you realize our common vision. We lost all that today and was left with Facebooks future vision of computing.

    27. Missing avatar

      Drew on

      Too late for a refund?

      Unbelievable what happened. I was extremely optimistic for the future of this product and the company behind it, and this is how I'm repaid for my investment? Incredibly disappointing.

    28. Missing avatar

      Brian Beuken on

      What a disappointment, I really didn't back this, this was not what was sold to us...we've been used...but I doubt very much anyone with $2B in their pocket cares what we think.

    29. Missing avatar

      Jacob Puritz on

      I am truly, truly disappointed. I had high hopes and they've been replaced with cynicism. Funny how I backed a product designed to free me from reality's shackles only to find that the product will be corrupted by those shackles long before a product makes it to mass distribution. You had investors, guys. I read that your investors could give you as much money as Facebook offered. You could have been THE virtual reality company. Now you're just a corporate asset that's going to put out products I cannot trust.

      Your enthusiasm and vision convinced me to back you. Nothing you say now can convince me that my money was well spent. I am really, really heartbroken.

    30. Missing avatar

      John Wolf on

      I would have NEVER given a single cent of my money to Oculus if I had known you were going to sell out to Facebook. You sold all of us out.

      I hope this backfires horribly for Oculus and Facebook. I will personally discourage absolutely anyone I know from buying what was once an indie dream and is now a soulless corporate cash cow.

      God, I want a refund so badly.

    31. S J Bennett on

      Can we please have some damage control and reassurances around this whole Facebook thing so that Oculus don't destroy the beautiful thing they (re)started? Really worried about this latest turn of events and honestly disappointed.

      I don't want anything to do with Facebook - I definitely don't want them steering such a promising project into an ad-ware-infected platform-locked piece of junk that requires a Facebook login to even use.

      Can we please get something from Oculus HQ to let us know the Rift isn't going to be turned into a Facebook-only gizmo and that everything is actually going to be OK? I think a lot of us would appreciate it.

    32. Missing avatar

      Svein Ove Aas on

      Well, I'm kind of horrified. I'd never have backed this if I'd had an inkling this might happen. Very happy I didn't preorder the second devkit; I'm going to wait and see what competitors might pop up.

    33. Jason Aller on

      I think recent events warrant an update.

    34. Adeon Writer on

      All I can say with absolute certainty is I absolutely do not like, use, nor trust Facebook as a company. While my funds are yours fair and square, at this moment in time, I regret backing this. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

    35. Missing avatar

      James Glaubiger on

      John Carmack left ID software for this? Waiting to see his comments and what he does .... and tempted to cancel my dk2 pre-order.

    36. Mathias Hagstrøm on

      Wow I am in shock...VR was soo close..... now I feel we are back in 1993 again. what a setback.
      I had so much hope for this project. You really need to give us a proper explanation for this move....

    37. Tyler on


    38. Missing avatar

      Tim Pettigrew on

      Wow, I misjudged you...sorry to hear i was backing Facebook in the end...thanks for that

    39. Missing avatar

      Victor on

      What a shame, Palmer that's low, and if you somehow thought it was a good idea you don't have any idea about what "facebook" really is, your idea and project together with the potential has been eaten, like food, by greed.
      You've put oculus on par to candy crush, on all effect, and up to the same target niche, niche avoided by neurons.

    40. Avram Eisner on

      I too want my $10 back. I don't want my VR experience in the Facebook mall.

    41. Michael Ommundson on

      Palmer! what the actual f*ck?!

    42. Michael Ommundson on

      Is this Facebook thing for real?!

    43. Missing avatar

      Mike Yoo on

      Horrible...HORRIBLE decision. I want my donation back.

    44. Michael Cooper on

      What in hell was the point of kickstarter if you sell out to a giant company like facebook?

      This is very disappointing. I will no longer be supporting the Oculus rift in anyway.

    45. Adam Willis on

      I think oculus joining facebook is a terrible idea.

    46. J Aaron

      If you haven't seen it yet, Facebook is buying Oculus:

    47. Missing avatar

      Brian on

      I was able to pre-order. I tried Paypal at first and that didn't work but then did my card and that worked. I pre-ordered 20 minutes after the update.

    48. Patrick Olson on

      Was anyone able to succesfully pre-order the DK2? It doesn't seem to process the payment at all...

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