Carmack: Facebook ‘Gets The Big Picture’ For Oculus Rift
“They will be a powerful force towards making it happen.”
Industry’s programming legend John Carmack, who left id Software last year to work on the upcoming VR headset Oculus Rift after having made his salt while working on titles such as Doom and Rage, says that the recent acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook is actually a good thing and that there is no reason for anyone to have misgivings, saying that Facebook gets the bigger picture when it comes to the headset.
I share some of your misgivings about companies ‘existing and operating only to be acquired’,” Carmack responded to a concerned fan in the comments section of an Oculus blog post. “There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up.”
“This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see,” he said. “The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state.
“VR won’t be like that. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact. The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.”
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting Facebook (or this soon),” he continued. “I have zero personal background with them, and I could think of other companies that would have more obvious synergies. However, I do have reasons to believe that they get the Big Picture as I see it, and will be a powerful force towards making it happen. You don’t make a commitment like they just did on a whim.
“I wasn’t personally involved in any of the negotiations – I spent an afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus.”
Carmack also went on to talk about a less pressing data-mining issue. “just can’t get very worked up about it,” Carmack said. “I’m not a ‘privacy is gone, get over it’ sort of person, and I fully support people that want remain unobserved, but that means disengaging from many opportunities. The idea that companies are supposed to interact with you and not pay attention has never seemed sane to me.
“Being data driven is a GOOD thing for most companies to be. Everyone cheers the novel creative insight and bold leadership that leads to some successes, and tut tuts about companies ending up poorly by blindly following data, but cold analysis of the data is incredibly important, and I tend to think the world will be improved with more and better data analysis.”
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