Star Citizen dev endorses Oculus deal; another Valve staffer defects


— 9:17 AM on April 1, 2014

Facebook's bid to acquire Oculus was the biggest story last week by far—and the story is still developing. Today, we see that Star Citizen developer Chris Roberts has come out in favor of the deal, and another staffer has left Valve for Oculus.

Let's start with Roberts, who talked about the deal in his latest news update on the Star Citizen website. Roberts clearly doesn't feel the same way as folks like Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, who canceled a potential Oculus port of his game because of the Facebook move. Roberts says he doesn't feel that Oculus is "selling out;" on the contrary, he acknowledges that the company needs all the money it can get to succeed:

In order for the Rift to succeed, it really needed a lot more funding than it has raised from its past two VC rounds. Hardware is expensive: it's one thing to perfect the technology, but before you can sell a single Rift, you need to spend hundreds of millions on manufacturing and building a supply chain if you intend to make the Rift (and Virtual Reality) relevant for the mass market. Microsoft invested well over a billion dollars just to launch the Xbox One this fall! My hope is that Facebook's funding will let Oculus compete with much bigger companies and deliver an attractively priced consumer headset at the scale needed for mass market adoption without the loss of the incredible passion that convinced me to back the project. I haven't heard or seen anything to the contrary so until I do we are fully committed to supporting the Rift.

Roberts also says, "I can tell you firsthand that the team behind the headset has a true passion for making VR tomorrow's standard."

In related news, Oculus announced on Twitter yesterday that Aaron Nicholls has joined the company. Nicholls previously worked at Valve for four years, two of which he spent "researching and implementing virtual reality technology," according to Nicholls' LinkedIn page. Before his tenure at Valve, Nicholls spent nearly 14 years in a variety of roles at Microsoft, from Development Lead in the Windows division to Development Manager for Microsoft Game Studios.

Nicholls isn't the first Valve recruit to join Oculus. Atman Binstock, which Oculus described as "one of the lead engineers and driving forces behind Valve's VR project," also left Valve for Oculus last month.

   
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