Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey didn't show up in his own annual developer conference.While the non-presence was sorely missed, it looks like Facebook is taking over. In the event, demo station and banners had the words "from Facebook" in big, bold letters.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage of the Oculus event last Thursday, showing exactly how virtual reality works. He gave the big demos of the Matrix-like computer-generated world for social interaction and communication on Facebook. "Soon you'll be able to see 3D versions of your Facebook friends, synced and gesturing to you in real-time while you "meet" together on a pixelated beach. Or the surface of Mars. Or an exact recreation of Hogwarts," Zuckerberg said in the event, as reported by CNET.
Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014 promising that VR firm could still keep its California headquarters with Palmer Luckey as the front and center of Oculus campaign. "People freaked out about the Facebook buyout," recalled Gerald McAllister, another VR developer in attendance this year. But Luckey insisted that Oculus can operate independently on its own vision and his presence suggested that Oculus would stay true to its crowdfunded roots.
Aside from Oculus, Facebook also acquired Instagram and WhatsApp in an attempt to compete with Google's software. However, only Oculus gets a rebranding push from Facebook.
How Facebook is taking over Oculus
According to Anshel Sag, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, "Big decisions are being made by Facebook, not Oculus. Even though that was already the case, now they're making it publicly clear." Oculus and the executive team are now relocated at Facebook's global headquarters in Menlo Park. Zuckerberg invested an additional $250 million for new VR games, movies and educational apps for this year. According to CNET Oculus VP Nate Mitchell said Palmer decided not to attend because did not want to be a distraction.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Unboxing Oculus Rift by Tech Events