Oculus Says They Didn’t Expect Such Negative Reactions to Selling to Facebook


Some of Oculus VR’s chief executives sat down with GameInformer the other day and discussed their recent merger with Facebook. What was one of the things that Oculus was most surprised about? Well, it turns out they weren’t expecting such a negative reaction to the deal.

The company’s Vice President Nate Mitchell said:

“We assumed that the reaction would be negative, especially from our core community. Beyond our core community, we expected it would be positive. I don’t think we expected it to be so negative.”

He also adds that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel though as he sees comments on social media starting to swing the other way as to why this is a good idea. According to Mitchell, the company’s current goal is to educate people about the merge and why it is a good thing. He thinks this is working since the negativity is finally starting to cool down.

Based on other comments in the interview, Facebook plans on letting Oculus continue to operate on it’s own, as it did with Instagram. This point was highlighted by Oculus’s CEO Brandon Iribe, who said:

“If you actually understand [Facebook’s] vision of letting us be who we’re going to be, just like they wanted to let Instagram be who they are. They want to set a precedent of leaving companies alone, but integrating and being able to allow that company to leverage the momentum and strength and size of Facebook.”

The Surge looked at the acquisition the other day and felt that it is good move for both sides, even if Oculus’s Kickstarter backers are upset. Certainly the upsetness makes sense though, as Oculus and Facebook operate on two very different models. Facebook makes most of it’s money by selling user’s data, even if the data can only be used indirectly by companies. Many of Oculus’s backers feared this is the direction Oculus would go as it would be Facebook-ized. However, Oculus on the other hand makes it’s money by selling hardware. This model makes selling data mostly useless to advertisers, as it offers a physical product rather than a virtual service as Facebook does.

29 Responses to Oculus Says They Didn’t Expect Such Negative Reactions to Selling to Facebook

  1. justizin says:

    “However, Oculus on the other hand makes it’s money by selling hardware. ”

    Right, noone has ever bundled hardware as part of an ad-driven service, or forced a relationship with another company to subsidize it.

    Two Words: Facebook. Helmet.

    • joe says:

      umm, how much have they made selling hardware?

      • Tom says:

        So far, not much. Selling developer kits, the company has made an estimated $23 million.

        However, the company’s product has yet to be released the general public. It’s still in development, and nobody knows how much it’ll make once it is released.

      • truth says:

        less then 23 million, I garuntee it.

    • yehno says:

      Talking of two words: no one.

    • teku says:

      Never seen Microsoft’s Xbox Live service before, have you?

    • leoarchiver says:

      Actually, hardware is usually sold at a loss when it comes to gaming. Microsoft and Sony make almost no money off selling consoles. The profit actually comes from the games and services provided by the hardware, for better or worse. That being said, the Oculus Rift will almost certainly depend on service revenue which basically means that yes, Facebook will monetize it in its usual way.

  2. Lunatic says:

    Unbox your new Oculus and you can only use it when you connect it to Facebook… LMAO, keep your shit

    • OkinSama says:

      Not gonna happen. Oculus still plans to be an open company, and open to all developers without any closed stores or logins.

      • Glizbane says:

        Funny thing about that. It no longer matters what Oculus wants to do, as Facebook now owns them. If Facebook suddenly decides that they want Facebook integration on the Rift, Oculus will have absolutely no choice but to do that.

        • Tom says:

          Facebook hasn’t yet established a reputation in terms of what it does with companies it buys but I do think it is trying to. I also think that the reputation it is going for is one where it buys a company, makes money from it, but lets it do its own thing as long as it is still doing well. If it needs some guidance or support here and there, then it will provide it, but otherwise it keeps its hands off of it.

  3. Should have went with a big gaming company, not a big advertising company. God.

    • SnerkTK says:

      Big gaming company means they would likely have to contract with that companies’ games only.

      Big advertising company means that they’re not bound by that limitation, and now have a strong financial backing as well as pre-established advertising network.

  4. unubunu says:

    Oculus tracking data is not useless to advertisers, it’s actually the new frontier of user tracking. Facebook will most likely offer a cheap version of the VR headset with ads jammed in, they’ll track the user’s head movement and record which ads they look at. This new tracking information will be very useful for advertisers because until now there hasn’t been a way to track which ads people look at but don’t click on.

    • Tom says:

      Never thought of it that way. I do think it will be relatively unlikely for Facebook to jam the VR landscape full of ads though… Especially if people are paying a couple of hundred for a headset. Plus, if they do, and another company such as Sony isn’t… Well then Facebook would be setting themselves up for failure. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  5. John C. Randolph says:

    I’m not going to knock anyone for taking TWO BILLION DOLLARS for a company that hasn’t even shipped their product to end users. I’ll probably never try out their product now, but why should they care?

  6. Alex Abrams Vitalli says:

    Oculus VR was really grabbing our interest, but the Facebook merger poured cold water all over it. Under no circumstances would we ever buy a product or service from any company associated with Facebook. We cannot ethically allow the Facebook surveillance machine within our perimeters and we therefore block it entirely. Unfortunately, OVR executives either didn’t understand or don’t care that they’ve chosen a side in the surveillance war. OVR is now a tamed weapons manufacturer for Facebook. Too dangerous to do business with.

  7. nopenopenope says:

    Company is gonna tank, thankfully.

  8. GrammarNazi says:

    Noooo! Will the rot never stop?
    > continue to operate on it’s own
    > makes most of it’s money
    > makes it’s money
    Three apostrophes too many. If you think I’m wrong, please check a dictionary:

  9. Hamed says:

    The point is, how can you do that. Kick starter idea’s start with the community and should be left to the community! Now how are you going to re compensate us? You know what, it doesnt matter because people can clearly distinguish good from bad, we are not retards.

    Something better will come along, we have been patient this long, I dont see any harm in being a little bit more patient. Let virtual reality come out properly. NOT like this.

  10. John Doe says:

    Quote – “We assumed …
    What happens when you assume? It make an “ASS” out of “U” & “ME”

    Quote “I don’t think we expected it to be so negative.”
    Correct you didn’t think you just saw money.

  11. Nope; I'm Out says:

    VR is interesting and the Oculus was interesting, unfortunately I would only ever get one now if there was a way to jailbreak it because I don’t feel comfortable having the man who said (paraphrasing) “They trust me / Dumb Fucks” having anymore to do with my life than is possible.

    While they probably won’t plaster ads everywhere, who is to say the Oculus won’t be a huge data farm for what people do in their reality? Screw Zuckerberg, Facebook, and the Oculus.

  12. John Don says:

    I can’t believe all these idiots in the comments here thinking the Oculus being aquired by Facebook is somehow a bad thing or that it is going to use ads/facebook integration..

    Get a brain.

  13. Doug Werner says:

    >However, Oculus on the other hand makes it’s money by selling hardware. This model makes selling data mostly useless to advertisers, as it offers a physical product rather than a virtual service as Facebook does.

    That is not what Facebook told its shareholders about the acquisition of Oculus. They said they did not expect to make money off the hardware.


    >In terms of our own business model, we’re clearly not a hardware company. We’re not going to try to make a profit off of the devices long term. We view this as a software and services thing, where if we can make it so that this becomes a network where people can be communicating and buying things and virtual goods and there might be advertising in the world, but we need to figure that out down the line. Then I think that’s probably where the business will come from, if I had to say.

  14. […] Oculus Says They Didn’t Expect Such Negative Reactions to Selling to Facebook | The Surge […]

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