Valve R&D head jumps ship for Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift

By on March 30, 2014 at 7:22 am

Oculus Rift has tempted former Valve research and development head Michael Abrash to jump ship, taking up a new role as the VR firm’s chief scientist.

In an introductory blog post, Abrash discussed his long fascination with VR, his friendship with John Carmack, and his conviction that VR is “not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform”.

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday. A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it’s engineering, not research; hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach. However, it’s expensive engineering,” he wrote.

“I’ve written before that VR wouldn’t become truly great until some company stepped up and invested the considerable capital to build the right hardware – and that it wouldn’t be clear that it made sense to spend that capital until VR was truly great. I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff.

“That worry is now gone. Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory.”

Abrash said Facebook’s resources and commitment give Oculus “the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR”, and that he now ‘fully expects to spend the rest of his career pushing VR as far ahead as he can’.

Formerly the leader of Valve’s own virtual reality experiments, Abrash is just the latest in a string of high-profile hires by Oculus Rift, including Valve’s Atman Binstock and Tom Forsyth.

Oculus Rift was very admiring of Valve’s VR prototypes when it presented them at its developer days, so it’s unsurprising its tried to grab the people behind the project, and given the company’s single-minded focus on the new tech, not tremendously shocking that passionate engineers have joined its ranks.

Source: Oculus VR

5 comments (Leave your own)

Not content with ruining their own project, they are apparently intent on ruining everyone else’s too…


oh quit your QQ.

just think of the money oculus has now which they can pump into making a great product.



Nonono you’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to complain because Facebook. Apparently it’s the end of the world now.


oh quit your QQ.

It’s not a valve/ea/facebook/nsa/American government/Australian government/console/killing of make believe tigers/origin/drm/activision post without Caitsith QQ’ing over something.


Yes, anyone who isn’t a fan of a huge, fairly evil marketing company taking over a great indie PC company is obviously a lunatic.

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