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Oculus founder Palmer Luckey leaves Facebook

Palmer Luckey, founder of the Oculus VR company bought by Facebook in 2014, has left the firm.

It follows the launch of the Oculus Rift VR headset last year, a prototype for which Luckey built in his parents’ garage before his company was acquired by the social network.

Oculus has confirmed the news, while Facebook provided TechCrunch with a statement that read: “Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus.

“His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.”

Related: Oculus Rift review

Just why the original founder of Oculus left Facebook remains unclear, with Luckey yet to make any public statement on the matter.

But his departure follows a controversy over the discovery that he had helped fund a social media campaign that supported Donald Trump in the recent US election campaign.

Oculus TouchThe Oculus RIft headset and Oculus Touch Controllers

Luckey made a public apology on social media following the revelation, but began to appear in public at Oculus events less and less afterwards.

His leaving the company also comes during a tough period for Oculus, after the firm lost a court case to Zenimax Media which cost it $500 million (£400 million) in damages – though Facebook and Oculus have appealed against the damages.

Zenimax claimed Oculus had stolen trade secrets and that Luckey had violated a non-disclosure agreement the company had with him.

Facebook bought Oculus in March 2014 for $2 billion, with Luckey said to have been given a large payout, though just how much remains unconfirmed.

Since then, Facebook appointed ex-Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra as Facebook VP of VR – a move which made Oculus more closely integrated with the social network.

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