VR Developers Speak Out About Oculus Founder's Support Of Trump Trolls

Following yesterday's news that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is helping fund a troll army of Trump supporters, several VR developers have decided to pull Oculus support for their titles. AP Images/Wally Santana

Luckey is Vice President and a financial backer of Nimble America, a company that is promulgating shitposting and memes to help elect Donald Trump, The Daily Beast reported yesterday. VR developers at studios big and small are speaking out against Oculus, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $US2 billion ($2.6 billion).

Today, Superhypercube developers Kokoromi and Polytron announced that they're cancelling Oculus support for Superhypercube, which was upcoming. "We cannot tacitly endorse these actions by supporting Luckey or his platform," they said in a statement.

"If you are a voting citizen of the United States, please remember to register and make your voice heard this November 8th. Do not let bigotry, white supremacy, hate and fear win," they added.

Smaller studios led the push against Oculus support. On Twitter yesterday afternoon, VR studio Tomorrow Today Labs described Palmer Luckey's actions as "unacceptable". As long as Luckey is involved with Oculus, Tomorrow Today Labs told Kotaku in an email, they won't be supporting the Oculus Touch for their Newton VR or upcoming products. Similarly, Scruta Games, which also develops for VR, said that, until Luckey steps down, they will be cancelling Oculus support for their games.

"It's not about 'politics,'" they wrote on Twitter, "it's about the face of a company financially backing racist trolls."

Some developers who were exploring Oculus support, but didn't have concrete plans to pursue it, have expressed abated interest in the VR headset. Augustin Cordes has considered his horror game Asylum a good fit for Oculus, but told Kotaku in an email that he'll be holding off pursuing Oculus support until "the situation with Luckey is resolved".

"It's a matter of principles," Cordes explained. "I won't do anything that increases the wealth of a company which in turn would increase the wealth of a tech leader promoting racism." Instead, for Asylum's VR support, he'll be focusing on the HTC Vive.

Insomniac Games, creator of top Oculus title Edge of No Where, told Kotaku in an email that they "condemn all forms of hate speech," adding that, "this behaviour and sentiment does not reflect the values of the many Oculus employees we work with on a daily basis." They did not respond to our question about whether Luckey's support for a Trump-centric organisation affects their interest in future Oculus-based products.

Oculus support is an integral part of several studios' business models, and without it, their products may lose context. Straight-up pulling support could prove disastrous, or simply unfavourable, despite developers' personal distaste for what Donald Trump stands for.

SoundStage VR, a "music instrument sandbox built specifically for roomscale virtual reality," has said that all SoundStage profits for the next day will be contributed to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Oculus did not respond to Kotaku's request for comment by press time.


Comments

    2005 Hillary Clinton was quite vocal about her opposition to video games so it makes sense that people who wish to make money with video games would support trump...........

      Do you actually believe his support of Trump is grounded in some pragmatic concern for his business and industry or are you one of Luckey's trolls? Has his money stretched as far as Kotaku AU?

        You are aware that people don't need to be bought to support Trump, right? Not everybody that supports Trump is a troll either. He has some legitimately good ideas that would help his country and people prosper and a lot of people like that. Liking Trump does not make you a bigoted, racist idiot.

          Please enlighten me as to the "good ideas" that Trump has had - I am afraid all the media seem to show me are soundbites that make him look crazy.

          Then what does liking Trump make you? If you support Trump then at the very least you're demonstrating complete tolerance and acceptance of bigotry, sexism, racism and hate. That doesn't make you any better than him. So good on you, you wonderful person.

            But Trump doesn't stand for "bigotry, sexism, racism and hate". He believes that the people of his country should come first. If that's wrong, then I wouldn't want to be right.

              Trump does indeed believe that the rich white people of his country should come first. He believes the poor white people of his country should vote for him because they are uneducated and too stupid to work out he's taking them for a ride, and he believes the brown people of his country should be cleaning the toilets.

              But if that's what you want, I guess you're entitled to want it.

              It does make you an awful person however.

                When has he actually said this? He's never said any of those things.

          No he doesn't. Name one 'legitimately' good idea that would help his country. And please don't say build a wall or banning Muslim immigration, two myths that have been repeatedly been debunked by people more intelligent than we are. Supporting a candidate because he promises the world isn't itself, a sin, but willingly dissociating that from the race-baiting, xenophobic, sexist shit that's come out of his mouth, is unforgivable. Being charitable, you might say that Trump's supporters are, at best, ignorant.

            His tax plan seems pretty good. His no-bullshit stance on foreign policies is also great. He's a business man and a good one too. He'll make sure America gets the best end of the bargain.

              His tax plan is awful. He proposes to cut nearly a trillion dollars annually from tax revenue, the majority coming from tax cuts for the highest income earners. The Tax Policy Center's analysis found that the only way to stop it from drastically increasing national debt would be to completely cut defence spending and reduce either discretionary spending by 82% or Medicare/Social Security by 41%, both of which have their greatest impact on the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population. It's been estimated that unless the full revenue deficit can be made up, its effect on national debt will result in almost a full percent loss of GNI.

              He's not a good businessman either, but he is a good liar. He consistently describes his experiences as successes even when they're objective failures. His reported income throughout the 70s and 80s was negative and if he hadn't been bailed out to the tune of tens of millions by his father he would have been bankrupt half a dozen times. When trying to get a loan from Deutsche Bank he claimed his worth was $3.5 billion, but the bank found his actual worth to be only $750 million. They issued the loan anyway, and Trump subsequently defaulted on it. In the early 90s he was forced to take control of his casino business after an accident killed several top executives, and almost immediately ran the business into the ground, forcing him onto a stipend agreement with his lenders to avoid another bankruptcy. His debt at the time was estimated at $3.4 billion, and the casino ended up in bankruptcy court the next year regardless because he again defaulted on his loans. This stuff didn't stop in the 90s either, it's been ongoing. In 2010 his lenders forced the foreclosure of a $400 million condominium project because he was unable to sell to buyers. The year before, he collected $32 million in deposits for a building in Mexico and then told buyers the project was cancelled and they couldn't get refunds because the deposits had been spent. The same thing happened in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa.

              Have you researched Trump or his policies at all, or are you simply buying into his own propaganda?

              Rampant tax cuts to the rich don't work, if they did, then Bush II wouldn't have captained the USS Recession. Trickle down economics is a scam that peddles the fantasy that by cutting taxes on the rich, somehow they'll pass it down and create new jobs, when time and again, bosses have simply pocketed the difference.

              His no-bullshit stance on foreign policies is also great.

              He's not a politician, he's a candidate with the same foreign policy experience as you or I, so okay. He's saying what he thinks will make his supporters clap like seals at Seaworld. President of the USA does not make you President of Earth, and if you think he can just tell Mexico to build and pay for a wall, or get cosy with Putin, or tell China to go screw themselves without causing a massive global economic meltdown, you're completely deluded.

              He's a business man and a good one too.

              Another myth. Where's Trump Airlines? Trump University? Trump Steaks or Trump Vodka? If he was such as great businessman, why's he such a charity miser and not releasing his tax returns? Why has his company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy four times?

              Last edited 25/09/16 9:05 pm

          Liking Trump does not make you a bigoted, racist idiot.

          The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. So yes. Yes it does.

        Actually, I kind of liked the old Jewish guy but its all irreverent cause am an Australian posting in an Australian site so if I was a trump lackey I would be quite inefficient at my job.......Hillary did come out quite hard against video games and she did joke about Gaddafi getting tortured and killed in the street. So I think I'm right to be concerned.....I'm also nervous about trump.

        Trump is the only person that could lose to Hillary.........and Hillary is the only person that could lose to trump, either way its not pretty. The sooner the USA finds the benefits of preferential voting the better.........

        Last edited 24/09/16 12:23 pm

          I haven't seen an election where the candidates were as fucking despicable as each other since...

          Well...

          The 2016 Australian federal election lol.

            Shame it never seems to give rise to some third party candidate that could actually take the crown and rattle some cages :p

              A legitimately true issue, it always comes down to two sides, here and there.

                That's why it's called a two party system.

                  Indeed, yet the two party system is itself a relic, as of the 1950's it has been proven time and time again to be a system in drastic need of updating.

    slander is actually on both sides of the bread... go figure

    Do not let bigotry, white supremacy, hate and fear win
    He says, as he spreads hate and fear for a candidate.

    Last edited 24/09/16 10:08 am

      Are you out of your mind? Nothing in Superhypercube's statement does anything of the sort.

        What part of calling a presidential candidate a white supremacist isn't hate and fear mongering?

          They didn't call Trump anything, the only mention of Trump anywhere in their statement was to say Luckey's organisation is Trump-endorsing. Likewise the only mention of Clinton was in saying Luckey's organisation was attacking her. Their statement criticised the fact Luckey was behind an attack organisation, and noted what's on the line in the election.

            If you are a voting citizen of the United States, please remember to register and make your voice heard this November 8th. Do not let bigotry, white supremacy, hate and fear win

            Trump wasn't explicitly mentioned, sure. But, the sentence isn't referring to the group that Luckey is a part of, it's referring to the election. When people talk about these things in context of the election, they are usually talking about Trump. People seem to have these warped ideas that Trump is some sort of evil, racist, misogynist, Hitler-esque figure.

              I don't think there's any doubt that Trump's policies advance the cause of white supremacist groups, which is why he's attracted their support, and why he's been very reluctant to condemn them when asked about it. I read Superhypercube's statement as a warning that these groups will gain power and may be emboldened if Trump wins, not that Trump himself is a white supremacist.

              That aside, it's obvious Trump is racist and sexist. He accused a judge of being biased because he was Mexican (despite being born in Indiana), he was sued multiple times by the Justice Department for systematic discrimination against black people in rental contracts. The former president of one of his casinos, John O'Donnell, said he was instructed to remove all black dealers from the casino floor whenever Trump visited, and that Trump hated that there were black accountants counting the money in the back room, and said laziness was a trait in blacks. After extensive denial, in 1997 Trump said "the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true".

              The sexism side of things is equally obvious. He said if Ivanka wasn't his daughter he'd be dating her, which is all kinds of fucked up. He called Ariana Huffington "unattractive, inside and out" and implied the fact her husband left her for another man was "a good thing". He described the only difference between himself and the other candidates as "I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful", using possessive language. He called a female lawyer who asked for a break in court to express milk for her baby "disgusting". He has repeatedly attacked Rosie O'Donnell based on her appearance, including this gem: "Rosie's a person who's very lucky to have her girlfriend. And she better be careful or I'll send one of my friends over to pick up her girlfriend, why would she stay with Rosie if she had another choice?"

              Just a selection of examples of both, but I think it's enough to show a pattern of racist and sexist behaviour.

                I'm not gonna comment on that racism stuff because I've never heard those claims before. Those example for sexism, though? None of the examples you gave are sexist. Saying you would date a girl is not sexist, calling a girl unattractive is not sexist, using possessive language like everybody else does does not make you sexist, calling a single woman disgusting is not sexist, making fun of a single woman is not sexist.

                Sexism comes from the intentions behind the act, same with racism. Nothing is inherently sexist or racist.

                  Those things are sexist because they're driven by gender. His judgements of appearance and attractiveness are almost exclusively directed at women. How 'attractive' Trump thinks Ariana Huffington or Rosie O'Donnell or his daughter are is irrelevant, it has nothing to do with their jobs, their quality as people, or their competency. Reducing people to their appearance when it's not relevant is objectification, and doing it almost exclusively against women is sexism.

                  What you're basically saying is "I don't want to acknowledge these facts, so they're not true". People like you should literally not be allowed to vote, or have an opinion in any way.

                  @Arcane Azmadi
                  People like you should literally not be allowed to vote, or have an opinion in any way.
                  Wow, friend. You sure are sounding bigoted.

              Because he is some sort of evil, racist, misogynistic, Hitler-esque figure. And if you can't see that then quite frankly I feel sorry for you.

                Ok, why is he some sort of evil, racist, misogynist, Hitler-esque figure? You can't just claim things like that. I need actual proof that he is these things.

              You know, when your biggest fans are neo-Nazis and Klansmen (along with frothing diabetic baby boomers screaming about throwing Muslims in camps) there's a *pretty good* chance that you may be, you know, *mildly* evil and racist.

                Good job calling the average, working class American a neo-nazi. People aren't talking about throwing all Muslims in camps. Trump wants a screening process for the flood of refugees. He's seen the affects of the refugee crisis on other countries and doesn't want that to happen to America.

          How about the fact that he actually IS a white supremecist, you fucking cretin?

            But how is he a white supremacist? Do you even know what that term means? You obviously don't if you believe he's truly a white supremacist.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now