Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of indie phenomenon Minecraft, has confirmed that he decided to cancel the Minecraft Oculus Rift version after Facebook acquired the virtual reality firm.By far, one of the biggest new segments of the gaming industry is virtual reality, as thanks to efforts from companies like Oculus or, more recently, Sony, great headsets are coming to the market in the form of Rift and Project Morpheus, respectively.
Yesterday, however, Facebook announced that it had acquired Oculus for a huge sum of money, effectively validating the whole virtual reality phenomenon.
Unfortunately, the acquisition did more harm than good, as the reputation Oculus established amongst independent game developers has gone down the drain.
The first big studio to denounce its partnership with Oculus is Mojang, led by Markus Persson, who is responsible for the bestselling Minecraft.
According to Persson, who penned a lengthy article about virtual reality on his blog, Oculus was in talks with his team about a custom version of Minecraft for the Rift headset.
"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," he said.
"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."
The Facebook acquisition, however, has ruined the faith Mojang and Persson had in Oculus, largely due to the track record of the social media company, which doesn't really care about the people it works with.
"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," Persson said.
Ultimately, the independent developer highlighted that competitors for the Oculus Rift are emerging and, while they're not perfect, he might work with them just to avoid Facebook.
"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 concluded.
Oculus has just released the Dev Kit 2 version of the Rift and has been working on the consumer edition of the headset for quite some time.