Oculus Drift: VR gaming boss out at Facebook

Less-than-rosy Palmer leaving Zuck's $2bn lawsuit magnet

Time cover

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is stepping down from his position at parent company Facebook.

The House of Zuck confirmed this week that Luckey, who had been serving as head of Oculus under Facebook, would be leaving today. Facebook acquired Oculus for $2bn in 2014.

"Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer's legacy extends far beyond Oculus," Facebook said in its statement to The Reg on the move.

"His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We're thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best."

A move for Luckey away from Facebook has been anticipated for some time. The Oculus founder had been quiet ever since last fall when he was outed as the moneyman behind the conservative activist group Nimble America.

In January, Facebook further marginalized Luckey's role when it hired Xiaomi's Hugo Barra to head up its VR efforts.

Luckey became the poster boy for VR gaming in 2014 when he turned a company first backed on Kickstarter into a multi-billion dollar Facebook acquisition target. In August of 2015, Luckey made the cover of Time Magazine, which declared that his company was "about to change the world."

The hype around Oculus soon subsided as the Rift headset debuted to lukewarm reviews and complaints about its prohibitively high prices and slow developer uptake.

Making matter worse, Oculus was recently on the losing end of a $500m damages bill after ZeniMax successfully argued that Oculus has violated its copyrights when it hired away John Carmack and borrowed ZeniMax technology to power the Rift VR headset.

While Luckey's future is yet to be determined, it has been pointed out that Uber, a company whose libertarian leanings closely resemble his own, is seeking a COO. ®


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