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#1 Edited by TrafalgarLaw (1142 posts) -

With the recent purchase of Oculus VR by Facebook, Notch took to Twitter to announce that he was canceling the deal for an Oculus version of Minecraft.

https://twitter.com/notch/statuses/448586381565390848

It was a good run for Oculus, expect more of this to happen. At least we have Morpheus to look forward to.

LINK

-Is embedding tweets possible?

#2 Posted by CornBREDX (5598 posts) -

This seems a bit extreme.

I feel like people are over reacting to all this.

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#3 Posted by Milkman (17004 posts) -

Seems a tad reactionary...

#4 Posted by crithon (3322 posts) -

wow.... wow.... wow.... that doesn't sound like an angry internet message board comment, that sounds more like the biggest developer of the most popular game making a stand. jeez.

#5 Edited by RonGalaxy (3220 posts) -

@cornbredx: Facebook is head to toe awful. I think its completely reasonable that people are uneasy about this. Facebook is sketch as fuck; who knows what kind of weird stuff they'll do with this. Facebooks true modus operandi is to get their claws into as many people as possible. This seems like something they could easily abuse if it caught on

#6 Edited by fisk0 (4281 posts) -

@milkman said:

Seems a tad reactionary...

Pretty much exactly what I was about to write.

#7 Posted by MB (12711 posts) -

Video games are over, guys. Pack it up and go home.

Moderator
#8 Posted by Milkman (17004 posts) -

Also probably worth posting his more complete and extended thoughts:

http://notch.net/2014/03/virtual-reality-is-going-to-change-the-world/

It’s amazing. You strap on some gear, and then you’re inside whatever world you want. It showed up in books, it showed up in movies, and everyone dreamed about it. Problem was, it kinda sucked. I tried Dactyl Nightmare at an amusement park, and it kinda sucked. Huge wires, unconvincing tracking, horrible visual fidelity. VR kept sucking for a long time, and people kinda gave up on it.

But then something happened. Or, well, it had already happened, but nobody realized. The technology was finally here to do proper virtual reality. The team behind Oculus Rift realized this, and built the first prototype of VR that was finally just good enough to be usable, and it was only going to get better and better. They set up a kickstarter to fund their enthusiasm, and a lot of people got excited. They made about ten times the money they asked for, and I was one of the top-level backers.

I got my oculus rift dev kit, and played around with it. It was convincing. It presented a lot of design problems. It made me nauseous. It was signed by the entire Oculus Rift team. I got super excited and worked on a couple of prototypes before moving on to other things. Perhaps I would pick it up again closer to the consumer version release.

A couple of weeks ago, they reminded me that I still hadn’t visited their office, one of the rewards from the kickstarter. John Carmack would be there. The combined opportunity of seeing their latest tech and getting to talk about vr (and doom) with John was overwhelming, so I took the 12+ hour flight there. What I saw was every bit as impressive as you could imagine. They had fixed all the major issues, and all that remained was huge design and software implementation challenges.

As someone who always felt like they were born five or ten years too late, I felt like we were on the cusp of a new paradigm that I might be able to play around with. I could be part of the early efforts to work out best practices, and while I have no doubt that in ten years we’ll look back at the problems with early VR applications in the same we look back at GUI problems with early PC games, it still felt exciting to me. My head started spinning with potential applications and how to deal with all the issues (how do you do gui? how do you deal with locomotion? what input do you use? what happens if the player leans far enough forward to clip into a wall? how do you prevent vr induced existential crisis?)

Of course, they wanted Minecraft. I said that it doesn’t really fit the platform, since it’s very motion based, runs on java (that has a hard time delivering rock solid 90 fps, especially since the players build their own potentially hugely complex levels), and relies a lot on GUI. But perhaps it would be cool to do a slimmed down version of Minecraft for the Oculus. Something free, similar to the Minecraft PI Edition, perhaps? So I suggested that, and our people started talking to their people to see if something could be done.

And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them.

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. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?

But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.

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.

And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition.

I have the greatest respect for the talented engineers and developers are 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.

If you want to experience Minecraft in VR, there’s an excellent mod that does this. It’s called Minecrift, and you can find it here.

#9 Posted by CaLe (4018 posts) -

If you knew Notch like I know him (intimately), you wouldn't be surprised by this at all.

#10 Posted by RonGalaxy (3220 posts) -

@cale: notch is my dad and he told me he did it because Facebook is an evil sci fi corporation in the making

#11 Posted by golguin (3964 posts) -

@fisk0 said:

@milkman said:

Seems a tad reactionary...

Pretty much exactly what I was about to write.

It's his game. He can do what he wants with it. If he doesn't want to see his IP attached to Facebook for whatever reason (he wrote up a more detailed response to the "creepy" comment) then that's his business.

#12 Posted by csl316 (8942 posts) -

I can see this being a shift, working from a small upstart to having to deal with Facebook paperwork.

I'm curious about VR applications outside of gaming so we'll see where this goes. But the way FB just throws billions around blows my mind.

#13 Posted by Lukeweizer (2706 posts) -

I don't really blame him. Oculus just went from a sort of independent group of people making a device with the future of gaming in mind to a corporation that sells your personal information to the highest bidder. Doesn't exactly install hope and enthusiasm.

#14 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (1169 posts) -

People put money into a Kickstarter for a Gaming Device that ended up being a Social Device?

Awesomeeeeeeee, I would be kinda annoyed if I funded the Oculus.

#15 Posted by Milkman (17004 posts) -

@golguin said:

@fisk0 said:

@milkman said:

Seems a tad reactionary...

Pretty much exactly what I was about to write.

It's his game. He can do what he wants with it. If he doesn't want to see his IP attached to Facebook for whatever reason (he wrote up a more detailed response to the "creepy" comment) then that's his business.

I don't think anyone said he couldn't do what he wants with his game.

#16 Edited by RonGalaxy (3220 posts) -

@mb said:

Video games are over, guys. Pack it up and go home.

#17 Posted by Wolfgame (814 posts) -

Twitter creeps me out because I always see prominent game designers throwing hissy fits on it.

#18 Posted by Milkman (17004 posts) -

People put money into a Kickstarter for a Gaming Device that ended up being a Social Device?

Awesomeeeeeeee, I would be kinda annoyed if I funded the Oculus.

I'm not sure if you're inclined to believe them but this is what Facebook said...

#19 Posted by Amikron (332 posts) -

Important point Notch mentions in his post is that the man put $10,000 of his own money up to fund this thing. Understandable that he might be a bit miffed at the news today. Will be interesting to see just what happens with this moving forward. Though I do have to say I find great amusement in the people championing Sony's new device. Give them a chance to actually do anything with the device before we go getting excited about the Sony stuff. Sony are great innovators but they are also REALLY REALLY good at wasting consumer dollars on half-baked concepts they pull support for as soon as they hit market.

#20 Posted by golguin (3964 posts) -

@milkman said:

@golguin said:

@fisk0 said:

@milkman said:

Seems a tad reactionary...

Pretty much exactly what I was about to write.

It's his game. He can do what he wants with it. If he doesn't want to see his IP attached to Facebook for whatever reason (he wrote up a more detailed response to the "creepy" comment) then that's his business.

I don't think anyone said he couldn't do what he wants with his game.

You said it sounded reactionary. He seems pretty clear that it's a deal breaker for him. Should he reconsider his position? He doesn't want Minecraft associated with Facebook.

#21 Edited by HatKing (6022 posts) -

@cale: notch is my dad and he told me he did it because Facebook is an evil sci fi corporation in the making

That's a lie. He's resented Facebook ever since I wouldn't go 'Facebook official' with him. Childish.

#22 Posted by Milkman (17004 posts) -

@golguin: He doesn't have to do anything. It just seems silly to me to make what is (presumably) a big decision like this literally minutes after the deal takes place. What if Facebook stays out of the way and everything stays the same with Oculus? Is being associated with Facebook any worse than being associated with Microsoft or Google or Apple?

#23 Edited by RonGalaxy (3220 posts) -

Hey everyone, remember that questioning things isn't a bad thing. Questioning makes it so everything isn't shit all the time. Questioning made Microsoft move away from their anti consumer policies on Xbox and become more competitive.Questioning made Sony go from the middling feelings of the ps3 to huge success with the ps4.

#24 Edited by believer258 (11984 posts) -

I don't know, duders, for a guy who put ten fucking grand in there, I'd say that this isn't a knee-jerk reaction. I'd be pretty mad, too, if I had funded this. The backers were promised a gaming device, not a fucking social media device.

Also, that whole thing that @milkman posted above seems like the carefully measured response of a man who had given this some serious thought, not the ramblings of someone with a knee-jerk reaction.

#25 Posted by fisk0 (4281 posts) -

@milkman said:

@golguin said:

@fisk0 said:

@milkman said:

Seems a tad reactionary...

Pretty much exactly what I was about to write.

It's his game. He can do what he wants with it. If he doesn't want to see his IP attached to Facebook for whatever reason (he wrote up a more detailed response to the "creepy" comment) then that's his business.

I don't think anyone said he couldn't do what he wants with his game.

Considering how they prominently promote their Facebook group on the Minecraft.net front page I still think the "we don't want to be associated with facebook" thing odd.

#26 Posted by kmg90 (420 posts) -

@milkman said:

Also probably worth posting his more complete and extended thoughts:

http://notch.net/2014/03/virtual-reality-is-going-to-change-the-world/


If you want to experience Minecraft in VR, there’s an excellent mod that does this. It’s called Minecrift, and you can find it here.

Thanks for posting this, didn't know he also wrote a blog post about his reaction and thoughts on this shocking news....

I agree and share similar views on Facebook, you need only look at their history to see that Facebook doesn't care about expanding/inovating new technologies they focus on increasing the amount of eyeballs they could sell to highest bidder (advertisers)

#27 Edited by cloudymusic (1158 posts) -

@cale said:

If you knew Notch like I know him (intimately)

Sorry, bearded guys aren't really my thing. :P

#28 Posted by Wolfgame (814 posts) -

@cale said:

If you knew Notch like I know him (intimately)

Sorry, bearded guys aren't really my thing. :P

I know we don't want to derail the topic, but wtf Cale... :-p

#29 Posted by crithon (3322 posts) -

@milkman: yeah, that's the thing, I keep thinking about how Facebook hasn't completely fucked over Instagram and let them do what they do best. But even if Facebook were to hide their name as "corporation X" the idea of the whole grassroots feel good story behind Occulus VR and would be tainted by some large corporation getting their dirty hands into everything. That's the immediate reaction anyone has about this.

#30 Posted by Sergio (2160 posts) -

Meh, like the world needed another Minecraft port.

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#31 Posted by Slag (4610 posts) -

Sounds like he has pretty valid preconceived philosophical differences with how facebook operates and since he has the financial flexibility to operate mojang how he wants why not do what he thinks is best for his creation?

#33 Posted by TurboMan (7604 posts) -

Minecraft VR exclusive to PS4 could be a thing...

huh.

#34 Posted by Cirdain (3099 posts) -

There might be positive cascade affects.

Ok so...

Facebook will make the Oculus popular with something we (you being a well versed gamer) don't like but is 'essential' and functional which then creates a large market which then means more interest in creating quality VR experiences we do like.

That's the best case scenario as I see it.

#35 Edited by Nightriff (5145 posts) -

I don't know, duders, for a guy who put ten fucking grand in there, I'd say that this isn't a knee-jerk reaction. I'd be pretty mad, too, if I had funded this. The backers were promised a gaming device, not a fucking social media device.

Also, that whole thing that @milkman posted above seems like the carefully measured response of a man who had given this some serious though, not the ramblings of someone with a knee-jerk reaction.

Exactly what I think and thanks milkman for posting it, glad I got to read exactly what he said and not just "Facebook is creepy" like other places are just reporting.

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#36 Edited by ChrisHarris (280 posts) -

@milkman said:

What if Facebook stays out of the way and everything stays the same with Oculus?

Even if they haven't done anything to fuck it over in the next five years, people will still be worried about it. It took something like four years before Google started forcing people to merge their YouTube accounts into Google accounts and even longer before other parts started leaking in. It probably won't happen today... or tomorrow... or next year. Whether it's sooner or later, Facebook will creep into the product when they think they have established their position and see an opportunity to leverage that position to make more money. Facebook will forever be the Sword of Damocles hanging over the Oculus Rift.

#37 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5797 posts) -

I'm less apprehensive about the acquisition and more about string of reactions like this to come.

While I'm not sure what to think of this I will hold off any negative reactions until we see more on this in the future.

#38 Posted by Andorski (5342 posts) -

@milkman said:

@golguin: He doesn't have to do anything. It just seems silly to me to make what is (presumably) a big decision like this literally minutes after the deal takes place. What if Facebook stays out of the way and everything stays the same with Oculus? Is being associated with Facebook any worse than being associated with Microsoft or Google or Apple?

There is no reason to believe that this will happen. Facebook acquisitions have always been about integrating whatever they buy into their larger goal of expanding social media. Most companies bought by Facebook have been completely dismantled, with projects/patents/employees being pulled in to the general Facebook corporation. The few acquisitions that remained largely the same after a buyout - like Instagram and Whatsapp - were social media companies in the first place and thus did not need much intervention.

If Oculus is allowed to operate independently, it will be the first time Facebook allowed such a thing to happen.

#39 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

I don't know, duders, for a guy who put ten fucking grand in there, I'd say that this isn't a knee-jerk reaction. I'd be pretty mad, too, if I had funded this. The backers were promised a gaming device, not a fucking social media device.

Also, that whole thing that @milkman posted above seems like the carefully measured response of a man who had given this some serious though, not the ramblings of someone with a knee-jerk reaction.

I'm inclined to agree with this. I've heard others express concern over hypothetical scenarios just like this since the Kickstarter thing got big. I think someone on the Bombcast was one of them. Something about a Kickstarter made just so they can prove that there's interest and get bought out by a giant corporation. They were given 2.4 million dollars by very generous people interested in seeing this thing possibly change and evolve the industry. Facebook's only leg in the industry involves shitty flash games. I totally understand his concern. If I were him, I'd feel sort of cheated.

#40 Posted by Coolarman (786 posts) -
@mb said:

Video games are over, guys. Pack it up and go home.

But....The Bombcast just said video games are back.

Why must life be so cruel??????

#41 Posted by BaconGames (3483 posts) -

His full extended thoughts all seem reasonable. I don't know, I think there isn't much to say more about it. I would probably do the same if I had a budding discussion that was building during a huge acquisition. Wait and see and if it makes sense to work with them later, alright. I think this is a case where everyone knows they have to earn it and up through consumer launch I bet they'll be on point about it. Long term? Who knows but by that point the competition should have filled out the field that it's not reliant on Oculus to carry VR.

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#42 Posted by thatdutchguy (1273 posts) -

Sony is making all the right moves right now.

#43 Posted by FinalDasa (1880 posts) -

That seems like a short-sided and reactionary move rather than a business decision.

Why not take a meeting with Facebook about the future of video game development on the Oculus?

Moderator
#44 Edited by OurSin_360 (936 posts) -

Facebooks focus is NOT about games which the original occulus rift was about, so it's not overreacting at all for him to stop the deal for his game. Facebook will use it for other means, with games as an after thought.

@viciousbearmauling said:

People put money into a Kickstarter for a Gaming Device that ended up being a Social Device?

Awesomeeeeeeee, I would be kinda annoyed if I funded the Oculus.

WOW

That's pretty amazing, basically spent none of their own funds and ended up making billions off it. Sucks for gamers and people who helped fund it, but i don't think anybody could pass up 2 billion lol.

#45 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (941 posts) -

what a fuckin baby

#46 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1644 posts) -

@andorski said:

@milkman said:

@golguin: He doesn't have to do anything. It just seems silly to me to make what is (presumably) a big decision like this literally minutes after the deal takes place. What if Facebook stays out of the way and everything stays the same with Oculus? Is being associated with Facebook any worse than being associated with Microsoft or Google or Apple?

There is no reason to believe that this will happen. Facebook acquisitions have always been about integrating whatever they buy into their larger goal of expanding social media. Most companies bought by Facebook have been completely dismantled, with projects/patents/employees being pulled in to the general Facebook corporation. The few acquisitions that remained largely the same after a buyout - like Instagram and Whatsapp - were social media companies in the first place and thus did not need much intervention.

If Oculus is allowed to operate independently, it will be the first time Facebook allowed such a thing to happen.

FWIW, Parse is another example. Facebook acquired them a year ago and seems to have let them continue to do their thing. I'm sure the Facebook integration (which existed prior to the acquisition) has improved, but it's still entirely optional. I'm having trouble envisioning a scenario in which Facebook ruins the core Oculus product in the name of Facebook integration. I mean, are they going to force you to sign in to Facebook and send sensor information back to Facebook to improve ad targeting? Are they going to cancel all of the gaming stuff and turn the Oculus into a pricey Facebook viewer?

I'm tending toward taking Facebook and Oculus at their word here because any other explanation doesn't make sense. VR is seen by many as the future of entertainment, and Facebook has spent a fairly small part of their war chest to get in on the ground floor and diversify their business. Occam's razor and all that.

#47 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1576 posts) -

This seems entirely like something Notch would do, and shouldn't be taken as a sign of things to come from other devs.

#48 Posted by freakin9 (1151 posts) -

All I'm hearing is that the creator of Minecraft is no Ed Boon. Ed Boon is all class and wouldn't stoop to these levels.

#49 Posted by Sergio (2160 posts) -

I don't know, duders, for a guy who put ten fucking grand in there, I'd say that this isn't a knee-jerk reaction. I'd be pretty mad, too, if I had funded this. The backers were promised a gaming device, not a fucking social media device.

Also, that whole thing that @milkman posted above seems like the carefully measured response of a man who had given this some serious thought, not the ramblings of someone with a knee-jerk reaction.

The backers were promised whatever reward their kickstarter pledge entitled them to, nothing more. I've backed plenty of kickstarters and as long as they fulfill the reward tier I chose, I'm satisfied. I don't complain if somehow they make it big and are able to take other opportunities. Who cares if he put ten fucking grand in? He got what he paid for, which wasn't a say in how they run their company.

He's perfectly entitled to say he doesn't want to port his game to it anymore. He comes off a bit pretentious in his reasoning.

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#50 Edited by MiniPato (2742 posts) -

@golguin said:

@milkman said:

@golguin said:

@fisk0 said:

@milkman said:

Seems a tad reactionary...

Pretty much exactly what I was about to write.

It's his game. He can do what he wants with it. If he doesn't want to see his IP attached to Facebook for whatever reason (he wrote up a more detailed response to the "creepy" comment) then that's his business.

I don't think anyone said he couldn't do what he wants with his game.

You said it sounded reactionary. He seems pretty clear that it's a deal breaker for him. Should he reconsider his position? He doesn't want Minecraft associated with Facebook.

It's reactionary because he doesn't know how the acquisition will affect the future of the OR and what their involvement will be, if at all. I highly doubt they're gonna cancel any game development focus for it. To cancel a project immediately after this news before knowing anything about the future of the platform is reactionary. He's explained that social isn't his focus, but games are. That's reasonable, except no one knows how much attention will be diverted to creating social experiences and how much toward game development. I mean, the guy ported Minecraft to mobile devices, a device that is primarily for social. It comes of as reactionary and pandering to the typical people who get pissed off when Giantbomb had a fucking like button on the site or had the option to log in via facebook cause "I don't wanna see random people's faces."

Let's think about it. What does facebook want with the OR? Make a virtual social space with interactivity? Sounds like a videogame world to me. That's what makes minecraft popular. It's a virtual social space that you can play in with friends. No game rules or scores. Some detractors would even scoff at calling a minecraft a game cause it has no "goal." So yeah, his cancellation seems shortsighted and reactionary when reflecting on his own game and the platforms he's ported it to.

Not to mention the wording of his message seemed complete self satisfactory. Maybe it's just the twitter limit, but the "I had this project. I just canceled that project" sounds like someone throwing his weight around.

Being rich and having ownership of your property doesn't shield you from criticism. No one kept quiet when Microsoft revealed their initial plans for the Xbox One.