It’s a virtual reality that Facebook has its haters; most companies of great size and prominence do. This was made clear on Tuesday, when the company announced it had purchased Oculus, maker of the Oculus Rift augmented-reality headset, for $2 billion.
GIF via Reddit
Posters to the subreddit r/Oculus were particularly disdainful when learning of the acquisition. Here’s one way to quantify this anger: In less than an hour, redditors dropped more than 100 F-bombs in roughly 600 comments discussing the news.
Here’s a small sampling of the vitriol:
“So all of the hype and quality Oculus has fed us over the last year was bullshit to build up a fucking acquisition?”
“Suddenly I dont want a rift anymore. There is no way in hell I can trust FB with anything. They dont respect their customers in the least. Fuck I am so disappointed. If you could have postponed your greed a couple years you would have gotten a similar amount of money out of direct sales.”
“Well…. time to start another VR company. Fuck facebook and fuck the ads that come with it.”
Redditors weren’t alone in their disappointment. Minecraft developer Markus Persson also reacted negatively to the news.
We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out.
— Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014
Persson also wrote a blog post on Notch.net explaining his position:
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?