Minecraft creator Markus Persson (aka Notch) has cancelled the Oculus VR version of the game, because, as he puts it: “Facebook creeps me out.” His studio, Mojang, had been in talks to bring a version of Minecraft officially to the VR gaming headset, but he said on Twitter shortly after the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR was announced that he “cancelled that deal.”
Oculus Rift ports of Minecraft already exist, as Notch himself points out, but none have the official backing and branding of the studio. That’s too bad for gamers who wanted to dive into the blocky virtual world builder up to their eyeballs, but there’s always the chance Persson could have a change of heart. Maybe Zuckerberg’s next hoodie will sport a familiar face to help convince Notch to come around.
In an extended statement on his blog, Notch goes into detail about why, exactly, he’s still bullish on VR but doesn’t want to work with Facebook.
Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.
Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?
But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.
Image courtesy 1will2000will1 on DeviantArt