bit-tech.net

Palmer Luckey leaves Oculus VR

Palmer Luckey leaves Oculus VR

Facebook has confirmed that Palmer Luckey is leaving Oculus VR, the company he co-founded, effective immediately.

Facebook has confirmed that Palmer Luckey, controversial co-founder of Oculus VR and the man at the centre of multiple lawsuits alleging everything from theft of intellectual property to breach of contract, is leaving the company effective immediately.

Initially funded by traditional venture capital, Oculus VR came to the attention of the public following the launch of a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign for its Oculus Rift Developer Kit. More money soon followed, and the company began to attract some big names from the industry including id Software co-founder John Carmack. While component shortages led to delays in getting upgraded versions of the headset to market, the company made enough of a stir that it was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion in March 2014 - and that's when the company's troubles really began.

Zenimax, the company which currently owns id Software, started by accusing Carmack of IP theft, and filed suit later that month, while a second lawsuit against Oculus VR and co-founder Palmer Luckey by Total Recall, a company for which Luckey was developing a prototype VR headset prior to the founding of Oculus VR, also hit the dockets. A string of delays helped competitors including HTC's Vive and Sony's PlayStation VR gain traction, and in December last year the company lost its chief executive and split into two in a seeming effort to boost its influence in the wallet-friendly mobile VR arena.

For Luckey, though, the issues have been rather more personal. While the Total Recall suit was dismissed when the company's two founders couldn't agree on its merits, Luckey himself has been under fire for his political views and financial support of the successful campaign to have Donald Trump elected as the US President - in particular a $10,000 donation to Nimble America, a pro-Trump group which dedicated itself to social media influence and claimed that it had 'proven shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real.'

'You and I are the same. We know Hillary Clinton is corrupt, a warmonger, a freedom-stripper. Not the good kind you see dancing in bikinis on Independence Day, the bad kind that strips freedom from citizens and grants it to donors. I reached out to the leaders of this community because I am doing everything I can to help make America great again. I have already donated significant funds to Nimble America, and will continue to do so,' Luckey posted to reddit under the account 'NimbleRichMan.' 'I need your help: For the next 48 hours, I will match your donations dollar for dollar. Donate $10 and I will match you by flying my jet a minute less. Donate a hundred and I will match you by skipping a glass of scotch. Donate a thousand and I will match by putting off the tire change on my car. Am I bragging? Will people be offended? Yes, but those people already hate Donald. They cannot stand to see successful people who are proud of their success. Let’s generate some success of our own. Make America great again with your meme magic, centipedes of The Donald!'

Following Luckey's admission that he was 'NimbleRichMan,' some companies pulled their support of Oculus Rift until Luckey was replaced at the company - and now that's exactly what Facebook appears to have done. 'Palmer will be dearly missed,' a Facebook spokesperson has confirmed in a statement first published by Road to VR. 'Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.'

The company has refused to comment on the reasons for Luckey's departure.

11 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
azrael- 31st March 2017, 11:33 Quote
Palmer UnLuckey?

Well, he certainly seems to have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Haven't really been keeping tabs since I've next to no interest in the current VR "boom".
SMIFFYDUDE 31st March 2017, 12:33 Quote
Don't you just wish him the very best of luck in all his future endeavours.
Omnislip 1st April 2017, 16:54 Quote
Isn't it glorious to see someone face the consequences of being an utter *****?
David 1st April 2017, 20:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
'Will be missed,' claims Facebook.

Yeah, about as much as a case of herpes would be.
theshadow2001 1st April 2017, 20:57 Quote
Seems like a good example of why we need privacy online. The dude pretty much lost his job for his political views and supporting a presidential candidate.
theshadow2001 1st April 2017, 21:12 Quote
...until it happens to someone you agree with or support.
Nexxo 1st April 2017, 22:04 Quote
Might his leaving Oculus VR have something to do with the lawsuit brought against him by ZeniMax Media? Facebook was ordered to pay $500 million in damages to the company, with $50 million being paid by Luckey himself, who was found to have violated his NDA with ZeniMax Media.

This has nothing to do with his political leanings. Meanwhile Luckey has most recently been valued at $730 million (which he earned fair and square, first developing his revolutionary VR tech from his parents' garage like any self-respecting geek does) so I'm fairly sure that he'll be OK. He'll probably now just go off and develop the next piece of game-changing tech in computer gaming,
edzieba 2nd April 2017, 08:42 Quote
I doubt it;s to do with either politics or the lawsuit (though the lawsuit could have dragged things out), more that there isn't really a role for Palmer anymore. He's a garage hardware-hacker, which was perfect for the proof-of-concept and getting the first iteration going on the cheap with CoTS parts, but for a finished product you have actual hardware and product engineers doing the same job but better. The Rift is out, his pet project Touch is out, so either he stays there making prototypes that will likly never see the light of day, or leaves to pursue those prototypes. He has the funding to spin out a startup, and the reputation for picking good ideas to attract investment.
theshadow2001 2nd April 2017, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Might his leaving Oculus VR have something to do with the lawsuit brought against him by ZeniMax Media? Facebook was ordered to pay $500 million in damages to the company, with $50 million being paid by Luckey himself, who was found to have violated his NDA with ZeniMax Media.

This has nothing to do with his political leanings. Meanwhile Luckey has most recently been valued at $730 million (which he earned fair and square, first developing his revolutionary VR tech from his parents' garage like any self-respecting geek does) so I'm fairly sure that he'll be OK. He'll probably now just go off and develop the next piece of game-changing tech in computer gaming,

Firstly no one cares about Palmer or what happens to him and my post was not based in concern for him.

Law suits are a facet of business and chances are without his prior work, there wouldn't be an Occulus to invest in. Gareths article indicates that it was his coming out as this Reddit alter-ego and the subsequent reaction of businesses Facebook are relying on to generate IP to sell Rifts that appears to have forced his resignation.

Meanwhile, big corporations are pulling out of advertising with Youtube and Google in general because they don't want even the chance of their business being associated with something they would consider unsavoury or something that would reflect poorly on their business. Businesses appear to be more scared of bad PR than anything else. Given the nature of Palmer's political leanings I'm sure the last thing Facebook wants for Occulus is to become embroiled in some sort of Gamergate-esque SJW led controversy.
Archtronics 2nd April 2017, 18:29 Quote
All this technology and communications, people still haven't learnt to keep there mouths shut.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums