Former id Software programmer and Oculus VR chief technology officer John Carmack has finally spoken up about Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR last week. He responded to a Tumblr blog by musician Peter Berkman who provided his two cents about the surprising acquisition.
According to Berkman's post, Facebook will know where you're looking, what you're doing, and how long you do it. The social site may even cross-reference that VR data with all the other information they already have on a billion people. This data won't be released to the public, but used as a way to make Facebook more revenue. He also said that companies exist and operate only to get acquired.
"I share some of your misgivings about companies existing and operating only to be acquired," Carmack said. "I am a true believer in market economies, and the magic of trade being a positive sum game is most obvious with repeated transactions at a consumer level. Company acquisitions, while still (usually) being a trade between willing parties that in theory leaves both better off, have much more of an element of speculation rather than objective assessment of value, and it definitely feels different."
Carmack said he wasn't expecting Facebook or an actual acquisition this soon. "I have zero personal background with them, and I could think of other companies that would have more obvious synergies. However, I do have reasons to believe that they get the Big Picture as I see it, and will be a powerful force towards making it happen. You don't make a commitment like they just did on a whim."
Carmack added that he didn't have anything to do with the acquisition. He spent one afternoon talking technology with Mark Zuckerberg, and then next week he finds out that Zuckerberg actually bought Oculus VR.
"There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up," he wrote. "This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see. The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state."
Although Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR was rather shocking last week, perhaps this is the best thing that could have happened with Oculus VR. The VR company possibly now has access to Facebook's mound of cash, which could help accelerate development.
As for the data mining question, Carmack admitted that he liked the way Amazon recommends products with each visit.