Oculus Founder Gets ‘Death Threats’ Following Facebook Buyout

From left to right: Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey, VP of Product Nate Mitchell and CEO Brenden Iribe (Kyle Orland)
From left to right: Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey, VP of Product Nate Mitchell and CEO Brenden Iribe (Kyle Orland)

Based on the general Internet reaction in the immediate wake of Tuesday’s surprise announcement that Facebook is buying VR headset maker Oculus, you’d have thought the move was effectively a death sentence for what had previously been the most promising virtual reality technology in decades. Apparently, some particularly vitriolic commenters felt comfortable saying that death sentence should extend to the technology’s creators and their families as well.

“We expected a negative reaction from people in the short term, [but] we did not expect to be getting so many death threats and harassing phone calls that extended to our families,” Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey said in a Reddit post this weekend. “We know we will prove ourselves with actions and not words, but that kind of shit is unwarranted, especially since it is impacting people who have nothing to do with Oculus.”

Elsewhere in the Reddit thread, Luckey said that the initial reaction wasn’t really surprising, but still obviously felt undeserved from his point-of-view. “We expected a kneejerk from reaction from people who don’t have all the information we do, and will not have it for some time,” he wrote. “We expected a negative reaction, that does not mean we think the reaction is warranted. My primary goal is the long term success of VR, not short term warm and fuzzy feelings.”

Luckey’s statement comes after a Game Informer interview last week in which Oculus VP of Product Nate Mitchell also expressed surprise at the extent of the initial negative reaction to the acquisition. Still, he added that he thinks opinions are starting to turn around with the passage of time.

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ars technica

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