Oculus Rift has been criticized for selling to Facebook for $2 billion after asking fans to chip in to a Kickstarter campaign, and now the controversy has led popular game Minecraft to abandon talks with the virtual reality gaming platform.
The $2 billion deal with Facebook was announced on Tuesday, with the social networking giant paying high above the valuation for the virtual reality gaming company. The deal brought immediate criticism for Oculus Rift, which since 2012 has gotten donations from nearly 10,000 people for a Kickstarter campaign.
Many of these supporters took to the Kickstarter page itself, turning it into a de facto complaint board. Some demanded the money they donated to be returned.
“That means I should get a little bit more than that even,” wrote Oliver Housknecht. “I hope a class action happens that gives us pledgers a certain percentage of that $2b based on the percentage we gave to the Kickstarter!”
Others expressed anger at Oculus Rift for what they see as selling out to Facebook.
“I supported this because it’s something that I’ve wanted to see become a reality since I read my first William Gibson novel,” wrote Brodie Hannibal. “Now I find out that I might as well have handed my money right to Facebook and I feel a little sick. Enjoy your payday I guess. Please forward me an address so I can return my T-Shirt.”
As many fans turned away from Oculus Rift, so too did one of the most influential game developers. Markus “Notch” Persson, who created the wildly popular Minecraft, had been in discussions to develop an Oculus Rift version of the game but backed out when the Facebook deal was announced.
In a blog post, Notch explained that he strongly disagreed with the way Facebook approaches the gaming community:
“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.”
Though Minecraft is free to pull out of its plans, angry fans seem to have little recourse against Oculus Rift. Kickstarter has no obligation to return the money donated.