Oculus CEO On Microsoft's Minecraft Acquisition: 'How Ironic'

Video: When Oculus was purchased by Facebook for $US2 billion earlier this year, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson famously cut ties with the VR company. Now that Notch has sold his company to Microsoft for $US2.5 billion, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has a little something to say.

The comment came during the keynote of Oculus Connect 2014 today in Hollywood, California, during a talk on the history of the company leading up to today's announcement of the new Rift prototype. And the crowd went wild.


    I must be tired or having a brain fart, cause I don't understand what's ironic...

    Notch cuts ties with Oculus when he owned Minecraft, and now that he's sold Minecraft for 2.5 billion, something has become ironic?

      Notch cut ties with Oculus when they were bought by Facebook, because they were bought by Facebook and he disliked the practise.

      Now, he's sold Mojang to Microsoft, even though he acted like Facebook buying Oculus was disgusting.

      It's ironic.

        Actually, it's hypocrisy, not irony.

        Well look at that, 10 seconds of searching and already I've found Notch's original tweets and blog posts about why he cut ties with Oculus.
        Initially it was because Facebook "creeped him out", which he elaborated on by saying that Facebook is no a games tech company, they have no investment in games, and their sole business model is accruing users to sell personal data.

        None of the above applies to Microsoft, none of the above applies to the Mojang buyout, and none of the above makes this situation ironic.

        Seriously, the rapidity with which gamers are ready to shuck history in favour of conflation and absurd sound bites is infuriating, we communicate over of a digital goldmine of information that can be dug up at any second. There is no reason for poorly researched arguments to exist with the prevalence that they currently do.

          Unfortunately when it comes to Notch, you can't take anything he says to be well founded or well thought out. As Occulus themselves said “He had the Rift for a year and had not even tried the Minecraft mod (which is really good), much less done any exploration work. I think Notch is a super cool guy, but it is really easy to “cancel” a project that was never started as an out.”

          There's definitely a lot more to it, six months after the whole debacle Notch came out and said "And about now I'm officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus. I'm upset about there being a hole in my favorite sock instead." It's a throwaway distraction tactic, one that says 'Eh, look I'll make a silly comment so we can avoid the elephant in the room and concentrate on something else! Notch made some stupid comments, they were.

          "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."

          To be clear, Microsoft were not always a gaming company. Prior to 1996, they had only truly published a few minor, very minor programs such as Space Simulator. It was from 96 onwards that they started growing as a games publisher. Then again, rarely ever does a company start off massively in an area without having to make a brave step. While I myself don't like Zuckerberg for other reasons, Facebook made a brave step in buying Occulus, stepping in, funding it and saying 'lets BECOME tech enthusiasts and lets GET INTO the gaming area'.

          Notch was a nobody before Minecraft, likely, he'll fade back into obscurity, it seems to be what he wants, but he seems to be missing that point, that he too had to take a big risk. No other game of his has either seen the light of day or been succesful at this point. It happens. OxC10 is vaporware, Scrolls saw release and was quickly slammed as being mediocre despite the hype. However Notch did take a risk with Minecraft (a game that itself wasn't original, given its inspiration derived from games like Infiniminer etc) and without taking a risk, he would'nt have his 2.5b dollars.

          So, he slams FB for trying to get into an area and taking a bit of a brave step in that respect touting them as anti-progressive and ill-experienced not to mention that 'they creep him out' (*highly unprofessional btw*). Then, he goes and approaches MS to sell off MC to another 'large company' after these tweets in 2012:

          Got an email from microsoft, wanting to help "certify" minecraft for win 8. I told them to stop trying to ruin the pc as an open platform.

          I'd rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to win 8 that way..

          After he made these tweets, as per usual, he did try to clarify 'he was confused by the process'. This is the standard Persson social media rant. Make a claim, make a bold claim, make a HUGE claim that captures attention, then clarify a day or two later what you *really* meant. Or at least when you've cooled down and regretted what you've possibly said, claim you meant something else all along... it's a common tactic on social media that *everyone* has done.

          I have no doubt Persson is a really nice guy (from all reports he is) but his biggest enemy at this point is his access to social media and a twitter account. Comments like that, do make him a hypocrite.

          Too long didn't read?

          Yeh he's a hypocrite. Everyone's a hypocrite, nothing to see here, move along.

            They may not have always been a games company, but with ms flight simulator being their longest running software product, pre-dating windows by 3 years, and perhaps the longest running PC 'game' series of any kind, they certainly have been involved in games for a long time.

            Fun fact : you can maintain a pilots license with up to 50% of your flight time on this product. I think that puts the 'minor series' claim to rest. They also sold the tech to lockheed martin, which is why the last version was in 2009.

            Last edited 21/09/14 5:52 pm

              It's definitely a minor series in terms of gaming. It's not a minor program by any means and has a huge following in terms of being a simulator, but in terms of 'gaming' by itself, it was never a heavily sought after game until around MS FS 2000 when it truly took off in terms of mass appeal. I remember working in retail in 2000 in a gaming store, the push from MS to sell their new version of FS2000, was incredible. They had never pushed it to core gamers before. They'd TRIED with FS95 but it hadn't quite grabbed on like they'd hoped. It was definitely succesful but they'd never breached 'that' core gamer market. However with FS2000, they definitely nailed that.

              MS only got into the larger league of game producing and nailed that core market publishing post 1996 when they expanded into the more open area of it with games such as Gex, Fury^3, Ultracorps, Urban Assault etc. Later on they ended up getting the MechWarrior series etc.

              What's interesting is the series existed on the Apple II and TRS-80 for a year or two prior to Microsoft becoming involved and buying the license to put it on IBM Compatible machines. They took a gamble, it paid off in spades. Just like Facebook is doing with the Occulus Rift, taking a gamble.

              Last edited 21/09/14 6:06 pm

                Man, Fury 3 was awesome. At least the demo was, I must have put like 30 hours or more into it. It only had about 3 levels (Or sections?).

            For $2.5 billion I'd totally be more of a hypocrite.

              So would I! I don't condemn Notch at all! 2.5 billion is HARDLY chump change. For that kind of money, which could set me, my kid, his children, their children and many people via many charities up for life, I'd damn well do it too.

              Last edited 21/09/14 10:30 pm

          Did you find his tweets where he's having a go at Microsoft too?

        He dislikes Facebook not selling a company. Facebook was the problem not the money. it's not ironic.

        If I had the same offer or even slightly better offer from Facebook I would always take the Microsoft offer. See also Apple, Walmart, etc. Microsoft these days is heads and shoulders above those other companies. Even if it is just because Microsoft has neutered itself and secretly desires to be evil, I still have to prefer them to some of these other offensive companies.

      It's like rain on your wedding day
      It's like a free ride when you've already paid.

      It's none of those.

        I use to get really angry about that song because all of the things mentioned are not ironic. But perhaps Alanis is a genius because the fact that her song about irony contains no ironic situations is in itself in fact ... ironic.

          Nah, she's just a whinging bint.

    Okay, I know I'll be acting as a grammar-nazi by mentioning this - but, really. Come on. That's not irony. That's hypocrisy.

    Hypocrisy is doing the exact thing you've criticized someone else for.

    Irony is bleeding out in an ambulance that's passing a by blood bank after blood bank.

    To be fair, I've have to work for over 30000 years on my current wage to even come close to earning $2 billion, if I was Notch I would have sold too!

      My thoughts exactly. No matter how stupid my previous comments or thoughts, if someone offered me something in the vicinity of two billion... I don't think you can accurately measure the time in between offer and acceptance.

        We may need one of those cameras that measures like, a billion frames a second to capture the moment in its resplendant beauty lol. Quite frankly I think anyone who turned it down would be a moron. The guy may be a hypocrite, but he's no idiot. At the end of the day though, not one person in the world can say they're not a hypocrite of some degree.

          It's been my theory since I was thirteen. Build game. Get it reasonably popular. Sell it for massive amount. Bail and start another, better funded business.

    I think Notch just doesnt like facebook

    $US2.5 billion is redundant $=US

    Like a couple have said already, there is nothing ironic about it. Just sounds like sour grapes from brendan

    Everyman has his price

    Last edited 22/09/14 7:20 am

    what's stopping him just creating a new company and create new IP? just like respawn did with cod and titanfall

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