Oculus founder and Rift inventor Palmer Luckey says he “really believed” Oculus headsets would never need a Facebook sign-in to operate, based on promises made during his time at the company.
Yesterday, Facebook announced that, from October, first-time sign-ins to Oculus headsets would require a Facebook account. Pre-existing Oculus accounts will continue to function as normal until 2023, when Facebook will end support and users will lose unspecified features. When Facebook first bought Oculus in 2014, Oculus executives — including Luckey — gave multiple assurances that users would not need a Facebook account to use their headset.
Following yesterday’s news, Luckey took to Reddit, claiming that he “really believed” Facebook wouldn’t enforce such a requirement and that the company promised him as much on multiple occasions. “I want to make clear that those promises were approved by Facebook in that moment and on an ongoing basis,” Luckey said, “and I really believed it would continue to be the case for a variety of reasons. In hindsight, the downvotes from people with more real-world experience than me were definitely justified.”
He didn’t, however, reveal his own personal take on today’s news.
Luckey departed Facebook in 2017 following reports he donated $10,000 to Nimble America, a pro-Trump group, for a billboard featuring a caricature of Hillary Clinton captioned ‘Too Big To Jail’. That leaves a big gap between when Facebook apparently made these promises to him and when the company reversed that decision. In fact, the last remaining Oculus founder, Nate Mitchell, left Facebook a year ago. Luckey now heads up a defense product company, Anduril Industries.
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