Plans for an Oculus Rift version of Minecraft have been shelved.
That’s according to Minecraft creator Markus Persson, who has claimed on Twitter to have pulled the plug on the deal following the acquisition of Oculus at the hands of Facebook for $2bn.
“We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out,” he said.
A Reddit post from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey tonight emphasised the Rift’s gaming ambitions, claiming that the buyout will only enhance and not threaten the device’s focus on gaming.
The commentary on social media, however, is already suggesting that the move will see Rift’s future concentrated on social and tourism opportunities, at the expense of games – a fact that if true leaves the door wide open for Sony’s Project Morpheus.
Update: On his blog, Persson expanded on his reasons for cancelling any plans for Minecraft on Oculus Rift, including the following:
“Of course, [Oculus] wanted Minecraft. I said that it doesn’t really fit the platform, since it’s very motion based, runs on java (that has a hard time delivering rock solid 90 fps, especially since the players build their own potentially hugely complex levels), and relies a lot on GUI. But perhaps it would be cool to do a slimmed down version of Minecraft for the Oculus. Something free, similar to the Minecraft PI Edition, perhaps? So I suggested that, and our people started talking to their people to see if something could be done.
And then, not two weeks later, Facebook buys them.
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.
Don’t get me wrong, VR is not bad for social. In fact, I think social could become one of the biggest applications of VR. Being able to sit in a virtual living room and see your friend’s avatar? Business meetings? Virtual cinemas where you feel like you’re actually watching the movie with your friend who is seven time zones away?
But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.”