Minecraft On Oculus Rift Would Have Been A Free Demo, Notch Says

Minecraft On Oculus Rift Would Have Been A Free Demo, Notch Says

After news broke that the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft had been cancelled, many people couldn’t help but wonder, just how much of the project was there to cancel, exactly? Was there something there to cancel, even?

Yesterday, Palmer Luckey — co-founder of Oculus VR — took to Facebook to comment on the cancelation, and he made it seem as if there wasn’t much there to cancel in the first place.

“[Markus “Notch” Persson] had the Rift for a year and had not even tried the Minecraft mod (which is really good), much less done any exploration work,” he wrote on an article posted by Michael Moffitt. “I think Notch is a super cool guy, but it is really easy to ‘cancel’ a project that was never started as an out.”

We reached out to Markus Persson to ask about these allegations, and here’s what he had to say about the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft:

I haven’t done any Minecraft development at all for a long time, but I’ve built several prototypes of games for the Oculus Rift. I never play ANY mods for Minecraft because they make me feel weird feelings about second guessing my work. A lot of the mods do things better than I ever could.

Other developers at Mojang have played the mod, and the mobile Minecraft development team has worked on an Oculus Rift prototype of the game. The last thing I said to the oculus people before I left was that I would love for us to make a free version of Minecraft (“Minecraft VR Edition” perhaps?) to help promote VR, even if I don’t think a game with as much GUI as Minecraft is ideal for VR.

A comment on Twitter also reinforced this idea:

@therealcliffyb also, the “ball i’m taking home” was a potential free version of Minecraft designed to promote VR.

— Markus Persson (@notch) March 27, 2014

So there you have it: there was indeed at least a prototype of the game, and the finished product might’ve been free, had it ever been released. If only! Of course, in spite of all of this, Minecraft fanatics still win out in the end: there are Minecraft mods for the Oculus Rift.


  • Notch is a child, he withdrew support mere hours after the announcement on Twitter without knowing what changes Facebook would be making to the company and how it would affect the Oculus team and their roadplan. Purely emotional decision.

    He has the right to, but I wish people stopped acting like he is a freedom crusader who’s the Christ of gaming.

    • Yehhhh, I feel a bit unsure about his ‘taking my ball home’ mentality and publicly making a point of it this early on.

    • I disagree on him being called a “child”, as I believe he cancelled support on principle. In terms of business, maybe not the best decision, however not many people/companies stick to their principles anymore, money is normally enough to make anyone change their mind rather quickly.

      I wouldn’t call him a freedom crusader though, not even sure where that’s coming from. He simply dislikes facebook and their practices and seemingly wants to have no connection with their business.

    • I feel it was a move to get himself back into gaming headlines, we haven’t heard from him in a good while and this just gets us talking about him. I expect him to announce something soon

    • Facebook can say whatever they want, but in two years time when they change everything and it’s tough titties to devs and users, because it gives them more advertising revenue, they’ll show their true face, and by then it would be too late. As a public company Facebook don’t give a crap about anything but money anymore.

      • They can do that, Oculus does not hold any major patents in regard to VR technology as a whole, Facebook hasn’t locked down VR, there will be multiple other competitors releasing VR over the next 6-12 months, if Facebook wants to shoot themself in the foot they can. But until that happens; while the Oculus team remains unchanged and the brilliant minds stay there and the roadplan remainds untouched, there is currently no reason to panic. As of right now, all that’s happened is increased exposure, increased funds and an association with the Facebook brand.

    • Yes! I like that Cliffy B is a voice of reason in an otherwise melody of fucking idiots screaming. I’m personally keen for facebook support, because who wouldn’t want a multi billion dollar company backing your project?

  • Doesn’t matter. We will still get OculusVR support for Minecraft. Just not from Mojang.

  • The thing that bugs me is that everybody thinks “Facebook = Ads”

    Isn’t it possible that Facebook are going to use this as an opportunity to move in new directions?

    Imagine a VR App store, a world of reviewed and rated VR experiences, where Facebook takes a percentage of sales. It works for Apple and Google.

    • That’s literally the billion dollar question. With the kind of signals Mark Zuckerberg and Palmer Lucky have been sending, this really is unprecedented from Facebook. Palmer in particular has been hinting at lots of extra capital for things like custom hardware to make the Rift sing, as well as being able to directly fund developers making Rift first content. So far it seems like only good things can from of this unless Mark throws us a curve ball.

  • Yeah, that was a pretty stupid knee-jerk reaction from Notch. It doesn’t really matter, but he probably should have listened to John Carmack, who just said “well, that’s $2billion dollars we can find something to do with, now back to work.”

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