With the power of Facebook behind it, the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset will have access to a great number of games. Building simulator "Minecraft," however, will not be among them.
Markus "Notch" Persson, who created and still runs "Minecraft," was on board with the Oculus Rift until Facebook threw its weight behind the peripheral yesterday (March 25). As soon as Facebook announced it was planning to buy the Oculus company, Notch took to Twitter and said that he was canceling the Oculus Rift version of "Minecraft."
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In a blog post, Notch expanded on his reasons for doing so: "Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts," he wrote. "Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers."
Given Notch's intense dislike of Facebook, it's unlikely that he will change his mind and continue development of an Oculus Rift "Minecraft." That said, he is extremely enthusiastic about VR technology, and the Oculus Rift is not the only game in town. He could try again when new peripherals, such as Sony's Morpheus headset, hit the market.
In fact, "Minecraft" fans who already own the Oculus Rift developer kit need not wait to play the game in VR. "Minecrift" is a free "Minecraft" modification that allows Oculus Rift play. Notch himself is a fan of "Minecrift," and although the mod isn't perfect yet, it's completely functional. As more developers get their hands on the Oculus Rift, additional "Minecraft" mods may follow.
Game developers seem split down the middle as to whether the Oculus Rift Facebook acquisition is a good or bad thing, but it's clear where Notch sits. If "Minecraft" fans want a definitive Oculus Rift version of the blocky simulation, they'll have to make their own.