Vive Developers Flock To New Subreddit Amidst Moderator Fallout

by Jamie Feltham • January 28th, 2019

One of Reddit’s key VR communities is seeing something of an exodus this week amidst a moderator fallout.

Members of the r/Vive subreddit, which currently holds over 110,000 subscribers, have turned to a new hub named r/Vive_vr following disagreements with moderator and founder u/500500. The new subreddit already amassed more than 10,000 subscribers at the time of writing. Perhaps more importantly, though, plenty of VR developers have come out to show their support for the new page.

Disagreement over 500500’s leadership came to a head over the weekend. Many of the complaints stem from aggressive policies that lead to banning users and even VR developers. Reddit, in general, doesn’t allow companies to advertise their products. The site has an official premium advertising platform to cater to those needs. Technically, developers talking about their own products is advertising. Banning developers, though, robs the community of a link between creators and fans.

According to a thread on the new subreddit, banned developers include Onward creator Downpour Interactive, Rec Room studio Against Gravity and The Soulkeeper VR maker HELM Systems. Meanwhile, developers like Triangular Pixels and One Hamsa have come forth to show their support for the new hub.

Arguably the highest-profile developer to speak out is The Gallery maker Cloudhead Games. The studio’s Anthony StevensĀ wrote up a Medium post detailing its standing on r/Vive. “Every interaction we have with the community could be accused of self-promotion,” Stevens wrote. “But we just love the VR community and want to support it and be a part of it. Full stop.”

In the past 48 hours, u/500500 claimed r/Vive is a community “only because I allow it” and that he holds “the fate of the vive community” in his hands. In his first post today following the weekend’s outburst he appears to basically mock the entire situation.

Dear community,

I /u/500500, moderator of /r/vive, am please to announce that this subreddit gained 926 subscribers yesterday. The page view count for the day fell just short of 600,000. These figures represent a new high for the last 12 months from the available statistics . This reflects an exciting growth in the subscriber base and user activity. Yesterday, half of visitors were using reddit apps to access the subreddit compared to the 10% that is normally seen. I would like to welcome our new friends to this subreddit and look forward to your contributions to the VR discussion. I also would like to embrace the new demographics reflected by the new ways people are now accessing /r/vive.

Whether or not the new Vive subreddit flourishes remains to be seen.

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