To say that Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR has stirred up a firestorm of controversy would be a gross understatement. To try and soothe some of the anxiety over the buyout deal, Oculus VR CTO – and The Man Behind Doom™ – John Carmack (above) took time to address some concerns and explain that it was only a matter of time before Oculus teamed up with a larger company.
According to the comments he posted in reply to a blog post by Peter Berkman, Carmack explained that says that "The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans" in Oculus was "inevitable," and that "the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who."
"There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up. This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see," Carmack explained. "The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. [...] VR won't be like that. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact."
Carmack did admit, however, that he "wasn't expecting Facebook" to be the company that ultimately bought Oculus VR, and that he wasn't expecting a buyout so soon.
"However, I do have reasons to believe that they get the Big Picture as I see it, and will be a powerful force towards making it happen. You don't make a commitment like they just did on a whim."
The entire comment thread is worth reading, especially if you haven't been following the Oculus-Facebook story too closely.
Despite Facebook's ownership of a company--and jokes of a VR Facebook profile aside--it's hard for me to see a scenario where Facebook would be too intimately involved in day-to-day operations at Oculus VR. Instead, it seems more likely that Facebook's role will be that of a deep-pocketed investor that stays out of the way for the most part and lets the Oculus team go about its business.
Here's hoping, anyway.