Oculus are making Facebook accounts mandatory for their new VR headsets and ending support for Oculus accounts on January 1st, 2023. It's a decision which Katharine rightly says sucks. Worse yet, because your Oculus headset and Facebook account will be inextricably tied, it turns out your Oculus purchases will be deleted if you ever choose to delete your Facebook account. It makes sense, in a bleak way, and definitely also sucks.
If you've linked your Facebook and Oculus accounts, or created a new VR account by logging in via Facebook—which is what I've just done—you'll get a warning when attempting to deactivate or delete your Facebook account.
Deactivating your account does not need to be permanent, Facebook say, but it will keep you from accessing your Oculus products and account. "Your profile will be disabled and your name and photos will be removed from most things you've shared. You will also not be able to access Oculus Products or your Oculus information. You'll be able to continue using Messenger," reads the warning on the deactivation page. What's worse is the warning about deleting your account.
"Deleting your Facebook account will also delete your Oculus information. This includes your app purchases and achievements. You will no longer be able to return any apps and will lose any existing store credits."
I've been cavalier in the past about digital ownership of my own games and wow that sure does put a fine point on the matter.
According to UploadVR, Facebook have confirmed to them that "if you’re an owner of the original Quest, Rift or Rift S, aren’t getting another Oculus headset and have held out from linking your accounts for this long—you could still delete your unlinked Facebook account for now and your Oculus store purchases would be unaffected." Facebook adds that they will keep those users updated "as we get closer to ending support for Oculus accounts in 2023."
There's the obvious issue of wanting to remove yourself from Facebook's social media platform without losing access to products you've bought, but there are bound to be even worse edge cases. I'm reminded of the Fallout 76 players whose Facebook accounts were banned earlier this month when their Free States Militia roleplaying group was mistakenly believed to be an actual violent militia. Then there's the Oculus Quest 2 users who've gotten locked out of their headsets in several scenarios. It seems like even if you don't make the conscious choice to delete your Facebook account, having your Oculus headset require one could still cause some serious issues.
It's a shame, since Oculus's headsets are sitting at the top of Katharine's summary of the best VR headsets and her Oculus Quest 2 review says "there’s no denying that the Quest 2 sets a high bar for entry-level VR, and the option to pick and choose between wireless and tethered PC VR gives you a lot more for your money than rival headsets".