Minecraft for Oculus Rift cancelled in wake of Facebook deal


Minecraft creator Markus Persson says he has cancelled a potential deal to bring the hit game to Oculus Rift, after the company was bought by Facebook.

In a blog post backing up his decision, Persson said that he was keen to work with virtual reality platforms and welcomed competition in that area, but would refuse to work with Facebook, adding:

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.

His comments joined a chorus of concern from game creators and players over perceived privacy issues and the proliferation of the coercive social practices that drove the popularity of games like Farmville on Facebook.

CEO Palmer Luckey took to Reddit to explain the deal, and was greeted by a swathe of negative comments questioning the possible impact of Facebook's closed ecosystem on game developers, the change in audience for the Oculus Rift headset, issues with data collection and advertising, and whether the company will still retain any control over its direction.

Announcing the deal, the Oculus team said the two companies were "culturally aligned", with both seeing virtual reality as the next big step for technology - a sentiment echoed by Luckey on Reddit.

That announcement was also greeted with a string of negative comments, while Facebook's own announcement has so far seen a more positive reception.

Minecraft, which has sold more than 14m copies and is available on PC, Mac, mobile and Xbox Live, already has an unofficial mod for Oculus Rift players.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Mary Hamilton, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 25th March 2014 23.51 Europe/London

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