Hard to argue with such a visionary. You'll probably try anyway.
By Alice Lynton on April 5, 2014 at 8:59 am
Facebook gets the “big picture” of virtual reality, tech wizard John Carmack has said, and will do great things for Oculus Rift.
Responding in the comments section of a blog post, Carmack said that virtual reality needs a leg up from a big company like Facebook; it couldn’t grow organically as Steam did, for example.
“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,” Carmack wrote.
“VR won’t be like that. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact. The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting Facebook (or this soon),” he added.
Carmack said the negotiations happened without his knowledge, and quite quickly, but seemed undismayed by the acquisition.
“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,” he said.
Other commenters responded to Carmack, raising the question of Facebook’s “data mining”. The industry veteran said he “can’t get very worked up about it”, despite not believing that the age of privacy is over.
“Being data driven is a GOOD thing for most companies to be. Everyone cheers the novel creative insight and bold leadership that leads to some successes, and tut tuts about companies ending up poorly by blindly following data, but cold analysis of the data is incredibly important, and I tend to think the world will be improved with more and better data analysis,” he said.
“I have never felt harmed by data mining, and I rather like the recommendations that Amazon gives me on each visit.”