Oculus VR execs have spoken out against the backlash following its Facebook buyout, saying fans “really shouldn’t lose hope.”
Facebook has acquired the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset creator for a total of $2 million in cash and stock, much to the outrage of its fans and initial Kickstarter backers.
“We assumed that the reaction would be negative, especially from our core community,” said Nate Mitchell, VP of Product at Oculus. “Beyond our core community, we expected it would be positive. I don’t think we expected it to be so negative.”
Mitchell expressed that “people really shouldn’t lose hope” over the Facebook takeover, and that people are already starting to see sense in the buyout.
“As people begin to digest it a bit and think about it, you can see that Twitter and Reddit is swinging back the opposite direction. The onus is on us to educate people, and we want to share everything we’re doing.”
Oculus believes that Facebook’s size and financial capabilities will allow the Oculus Rift technology to move beyond the smartphone tech that currently powers the virtual reality headset.
“What if we can take that technology a step further and make custom versions that was specifically designed for VR and make the very best experience?” said Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.
The Oculus executives revealed that the Facebook buyout pretty much happened completely out of the blue. The Oculus guys had gotten to know Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team over the past month, but when Zuckerberg got his hands on the latest demos he wanted to know what he could do to help the company progress.
“Well, it almost happened overnight, believe it or not,” said Iribe. “We put our heads together and it made too much sense. If you actually understand [Facebook’s] vision of letting us be who we’re going to be, just like they wanted to let Instragram be who they are. They want to set a precedent of leaving companies alone, but integrating and being able to allow that company to leverage the momentum and strength and size of Facebook.”
Overall, the Facebook acquisition will impact the price and quality of the first consumer available Oculus Rift.
“There’s a lot of things we’re going to be able to do not just in the long-term, but in the short-term, that will make the consumer rift cheaper and higher performance without any kind of delay,” added Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. “It lets us make the right tradeoffs. It allows us to make for the long-term future of virtual reality and not the current financial reality.”