Escapist Podcast: 131: Two Billion Reasons to be Upset at Facebook

131: Two Billion Reasons to be Upset at Facebook

Facebook buys Oculus Rift for a cool two billion dollars and the internet implodes. The Escapist Staff weighs in.

Watch Video

its still very early to tell if this is Good or bad them buying it, or what Facebooks gonna Require of the device..

Pigeon_Grenade:
its still very early to tell if this is Good or bad them buying it, or what Facebooks gonna Require of the device..

Not really. They have already declared that they are going to let it run autonomously, so...

When they mentioned it might be like that futurama episode where they put on VR helmets to get on the net...

Yeah that's kind of what I'm afraid of:
image

Not enough warhammer.

Alterego-X:

Pigeon_Grenade:
its still very early to tell if this is Good or bad them buying it, or what Facebooks gonna Require of the device..

Not really. They have already declared that they are going to let it run autonomously, so...

because companies never go back on what they've said before

Alterego-X:

Pigeon_Grenade:
its still very early to tell if this is Good or bad them buying it, or what Facebooks gonna Require of the device..

Not really. They have already declared that they are going to let it run autonomously, so...

Bioware declared Mass Effect 3 would have wildly different endings, not just color-shifted versions of one extended cut scene.
Gearbox declared that all the work on Colonial Marines was done in studio before release, and that their infamous "gameplay" footage was actually from the game.

I could go on and on to list more ways you're being horribly inept by thinking that because someone said so, it must be true, but I'd rather not waste an hour to even begin to trudge through that kind of list. Those games costed, at most, 3-400 million maybe to make and go through.

You'd have to be a pretty blatant idiot to think 2 billion ISN'T an excuse for Facebook to put down requirements on the device and push their own stuff onto the Rift developers in order to get the most money from them.

Wow! Really good showing from Paul this week. Always happy to see him in the cast, but he brought his A game this time and had a lot of great things to say. Keep it up man!

Comparing the rift to the virtually boy loses then a LOT of creditability. The only thing the two have in common is the fact that they were VR.
Virtually Boy: closed system
Rift: Add on
Virtually Boy: crap, to early, unfinished
Rift: proven, still being worked on
Also -->
3D: been done 4 times, always failed
VR: only really done once before the rift, and only fail once.

Censership on the podcast now, is it?
Christopher Lambert might be good for Indiana Jones, considering he was born on Long Island.
You bring up James Bond but forget the Doctor? Please.
I'll wait for the 4D helmet. I want to experience the future and the past simultaneously.

I think one point Jim hasn't fully considered is that concepts like 3D gaming and VR are cyclical fads because the technology hasn't been developed yet to realize them in a way that's both affordable and non-encumbering. Once technologies are developed that accomplish this it wont be a cyclical fad anymore, it will be the standard. The first company to successfully develop these technologies will have a huge foothold and head start moving into the new generation of gaming that this will initiate. Facebook buying Oculus says to me that they know this and believe Oculus will be that company. Having demoed a headset and looking at the names of the heavy hitters tied to the Rift project, I'm inclined to agree.

shadewolf:

Bioware declared Mass Effect 3 would have wildly different endings, not just color-shifted versions of one extended cut scene.
Gearbox declared that all the work on Colonial Marines was done in studio before release, and that their infamous "gameplay" footage was actually from the game.

Yes, and they both suffered for it. Even discounting the PR nightmares that dishonesty can lead to, publically traded companies simply can't afford to alienate their investors by getting a reputation as one whose announcements are entirely unrelated to their actual plans.

You just thought up two infamous instances of corporate dishonesty from through the span of several years, ignoring the hundreds and thousands of statements that WERE true.

It would be naive to assume that all statements are 100% correct, but you can trust corporations in the same way as you can trust politicians: They will overhype what they sell, and try to manipulate you, but it's extremely rare that they get tied up in a bald-faced lie like "read my lips: no new taxes" which they know they will have to break openly.

shadewolf:

You'd have to be a pretty blatant idiot to think 2 billion ISN'T an excuse for Facebook to put down requirements on the device and push their own stuff onto the Rift developers in order to get the most money from them.

Well, the $1 billion they paid for Instagram wasn't a good enough excuse to do that, so why would $2 billion be?

Even if the Rift would have tens of millions of users, it would be piss in the wind compared to their actual Facebook userbase (with which there is already a huge overlap anyways). Alienating the potential growth of that community for a slight increase in Facebook users, is simply not worth it.

If there would be money that way, Oculus would have pursued it on it's own anyways. But monetizing a hardware the exact same way as a website, would be the worst way to get most of their money.

Collin Stewart:

Alterego-X:

Pigeon_Grenade:
its still very early to tell if this is Good or bad them buying it, or what Facebooks gonna Require of the device..

Not really. They have already declared that they are going to let it run autonomously, so...

because companies never go back on what they've said before

See my above reply. Yes, they *sometimes* they go back on what they've said. Most often, they don't.

Treating public statements as noise, is more naive than treating them as a rather strong indicator of future plans.

Oculus Rift is dead at this point. Facebook is probably the worst company that could've bought Oculus, even if EA bought Oculus we would see a few more revisions before it turns to shit. But with FB, I bet even CV1 will have embeded ads or FB account requirement. No doubt someone will find a way to bypass it, but the majority of Oculus Rift buying won't know who to do that. I wasn't a backer on the original Kickstarter, but all the hype had got me interested in VR, I'm still interested in VR, but I'm holding out for Sony's Morpheus instead.

awdrifter:
Oculus Rift is dead at this point. Facebook is probably the worst company that could've bought Oculus, even if EA bought Oculus we would see a few more revisions before it turns to shit. But with FB, I bet even CV1 will have embeded ads or FB account requirement. No doubt someone will find a way to bypass it, but the majority of Oculus Rift buying won't know who to do that. I wasn't a backer on the original Kickstarter, but all the hype had got me interested in VR, I'm still interested in VR, but I'm holding out for Sony's Morpheus instead.

If Oculus is dead, a big part of its demise is the responce of the public based on nothing but their feelings about Facebook.
And not from an informed knowledge of the company.
This alone can be damaging enough, but in my opinion not entirely fair.
From all the big information companies Facebook hase one of the beter acquisition policies.

They are the new owner, but the company will be run as before.
Sure, some streamlining to their core business is to be expected.
But like they said on the pod cast, microsoft or even Google have a far worse reputation considerring new acquisitions.

And big game companies are even worse.
They usually absorb and strip bare new companies, never to be heard from again.

I do agree that a mandatory facebook acount would be a bad thing, but i think they are smart enough to see that.

I'm more worried about their previous acquisition, WhatsApp.
An easy to use texting app is far closer to their core business so a merger makes sense for them.
Same goes for Instagram.

And the funny thing is, most people standing on the barricades over this have a Facebook account and no intention of stop using it.

Hexen!

Jeroenr:

awdrifter:
Oculus Rift is dead at this point. Facebook is probably the worst company that could've bought Oculus, even if EA bought Oculus we would see a few more revisions before it turns to shit. But with FB, I bet even CV1 will have embeded ads or FB account requirement. No doubt someone will find a way to bypass it, but the majority of Oculus Rift buying won't know who to do that. I wasn't a backer on the original Kickstarter, but all the hype had got me interested in VR, I'm still interested in VR, but I'm holding out for Sony's Morpheus instead.

If Oculus is dead, a big part of its demise is the responce of the public based on nothing but their feelings about Facebook.
And not from an informed knowledge of the company.
This alone can be damaging enough, but in my opinion not entirely fair.
From all the big information companies Facebook hase one of the beter acquisition policies.

They are the new owner, but the company will be run as before.
Sure, some streamlining to their core business is to be expected.
But like they said on the pod cast, microsoft or even Google have a far worse reputation considerring new acquisitions.

And big game companies are even worse.
They usually absorb and strip bare new companies, never to be heard from again.

I do agree that a mandatory facebook acount would be a bad thing, but i think they are smart enough to see that.

I'm more worried about their previous acquisition, WhatsApp.
An easy to use texting app is far closer to their core business so a merger makes sense for them.
Same goes for Instagram.

And the funny thing is, most people standing on the barricades over this have a Facebook account and no intention of stop using it.

But Zucker has came out and said they will monetize it with virtual worlds, that alone means they will diverge from the original Oculus vision. It's too early to tell what they will do with WhatsAp, but it definitely won't have the same policies that WhatsAp used to have. You'll lose all your privacy. Remember the outrage when FB silently changed the privacy policy of Instagram so they own all your pictures? It's stuff like this that makes me weary of FB.

"But Zucker has came out and said they will monetize it with virtual worlds, that alone means they will diverge from the original Oculus vision."
If you say it like that, it make me think Oculus's business model didnt go beyond making the Rift.

FB will have plans for it, i'm sure.
At some point they will want to earn their money back.

"Virtual Worlds" gives it a bit of a second life feel, as mentiont in the cast.
Well, there might be a marked for that.

Best case, they wanted beter access to the source to make a beter working application.
Worst case, VR facebook reader.

I don't think they are going to turn it in a VR ad's display.
Or have a mandatory facebook acount.
I'm sure they are aware of the likely adverse efects.

But like you said about WhattApp, it's to early to tell.

I do think backers have some ground for complaint, they spent some of their money on a company they like and want to do well.
Only to be bought up by a big multinational(any) the moment they start to do well.
So i can understand they feel a bit cheated, but it was to be expected to some extent.

How cool tech like the Rift is, it is a nishe market.
And startups like this get valued too high, too fast.
Companies like Facebook overpay way to mutch for them, and that can make thing needless expesive in the long run.
Keep in mind that the original development was done for a fraction of whats facebook was paying.

And that is the real damage here.

Paul... Even in Aus, I also had a similar disk, if not the same. Much of my formative gaming years was spent playing through demos/first episodes to games that frustrated me to no end. What happened to "the Doom guy" after he fell in that pit of demons?!

Erm, Facebook has made thirteen acquisitions within the year, not three.
Oculus, WhatsApp, Branch, Little Eye Labs, SportStream, Onavo, Jibbigo, Monoidics, Parse, Spaceport, Hot Studio, osmeta, and Atlas.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here