By Nathan Grayson on March 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am.
Looks like All of Humanity wasn’t the only one surprised by Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of Oculus Rift. Minecraft creator Markus Persson was equally taken aback, and not in a good way. His solution? Cancel plans for an Oculus-Rift-specific version of Minecraft on the spot. He first made the announcement on Twitter, only explaining that he finds Facebook “creepy.” Now, though, he’s elaborated a fair bit.
Notch took to his personal blog to explain what’s running through his (now only rarely) be-hatted head:
“Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build. Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR.
Fortunately, the rise of Oculus coincided with competitors emerging. None of them are perfect, but competition is a very good thing. If this means there will be more competition, and VR keeps getting better, I am going to be a very happy boy. I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven’t historically been a stable platform. There’s nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me.”
He further noted that he personally flew out to meet with Oculus only a couple weeks ago, and he was extremely impressed with the technology’s progress. The plan, then, was to look into doing a semi-stripped-down version of Minecraft that was better suited to virtual reality than the Java-based, GUI-heavy main game. It probably would’ve been free.
Notch, however, wants nothing to do with Facebook, so he plans to take his partially sketched blueprint elsewhere. He concluded by noting that he really does like the Rift and the team crafting the long-overdue replacement for this mouldy, banged-up reality, but he simply can’t put his trust in Mark Zuckerberg and co. Not yet, anyway.
“I have the greatest respect for the talented engineers and developers at Oculus. It’s been a long time since I met a more dedicated and talented group of people. I understand this is purely a business deal, and I’d like to congratulate both Facebook and the Oculus owners. But this is where we part ways.”
Well, I suppose there’s always Minecrift.