Palmer Luckey, inventor of the Oculus Rift, exits Facebook
After this Friday, Palmer Luckey will have to envision a new reality.
The co-founder of Oculus inventor of the Rift, which arguably brought virtual reality back into the market, is leaving Facebook after selling his company to the social media giant three years ago. It’s unclear at this point whether or not his departure is voluntary. Luckey has recently been in headlines for his involvement with a far-right political group and for a lawsuit brought against Oculus by ZeniMax, who owns game development studios such as Bethesda Softworks and id Software.
After selling Oculus to Facebook in 2014 for approximately $2 billion, Luckey stayed on with the team to help with the development of the Rift, one of the most popular VR headsets currently available. Earlier this year, ZeniMax sued Facebook on allegations that Oculus had violated non-disclosure agreements. ZeniMax, who is the former employer of Oculus developer John Carmack, claims that Carmack developed most of the technology for the Rift while employed at ZeniMax. Luckey and Carmack both testified that the development of the Rift was completely separate from Carmack’s work at ZeniMax. A jury in Dallas, TX ruled in favor of ZeniMax and ordered Facebook to pay restitution of $500 million. Facebook is currently appealing the ruling.
This ruling, coupled with Luckey’s personal affairs and beliefs, may be the reason behind his departure. Either way, it’s undeniable that the Oculus Rift and VR as we know it today may not be where it is today if it hadn’t been for Luckey.