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Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey responds to backlash over $2B Facebook deal

Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey has been the recipient of death threats after Facebook deal
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey has been the recipient of death threats after Facebook deal

Facebook’s recent announcement of its Oculus VR acquisition resulted in negative reactions among some. Founder of the virtual reality head-mounted device, Palmer Luckey took to Reddit over the weekend to air things out.

As Ars Technica reports (March 30), the Oculus VR deal with Facebook did not fly well with some. "We expected a negative reaction from people in the short term, [but] we did not expect to be getting so many death threats and harassing phone calls that extended to our families," Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey said in a Reddit post on Saturday. "We know we will prove ourselves with actions and not words, but that kind of shit is unwarranted, especially since it is impacting people who have nothing to do with Oculus," Luckey said.

Industry analysts, Oculus Rift Kickstarter crowdfunders and gamers alike question the motives behind Facebook’s $2 billion purchase. The virtual reality goggles are currently a work in progress, with pre-orders being offered to developers for $350. No announcement has been made regarding consumer pricing and release date. According to Barron’s, the Facebook buy appears to be for the sake of future technology. “We feel we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences. This is where Oculus comes in,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement about the deal.

Still, some potential Oculus Rift gamers remain skeptic, “Now Facebook will notify me friends anytime I use my Oculus. Or I'll see ads as I look around,” Facebook user, Stefan Ortego said. Another common theme among some is that Zuckerberg is just buying startup companies, in a Monopoly-like fashion. The Oculus VR buy follows Facebook’s purchase of mobile messaging startup, WhatsApp for a cool $19 billion.

“Honestly, I wasn't expecting Facebook (or this soon). I have zero personal background with them, and I could think of other companies that would have more obvious synergies. 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," chief technology officer at Oculus, John Carmack said in a Tumblr comment.