Minecraft creator Markus Persson has cancelled plans to develop a version of the mega hit indie title for Oculus Rift, stating he "will not work with Facebook".
Persson was a top tier backer for the Kickstarter which launched Oculus Rift.
Last night a $2 billion deal which will see Facebook acquire Oculus VR was announced, and was swiftly followed by comment from Persson.
"A couple of weeks ago, [Oculus] 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," wrote Notch in a blog. "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."
He continued: "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."
Two weeks later Facebook bought Oculus and things changed.
"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," wrote Persson. "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."
Things aren't doomed for VR in general, though, thanks to the rise of Oculus competitors.
"Fortunately, the rise of Oculus coincided with competitors emerging," continued Persson. "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."
Persson concluded: "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."