It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand times throughout the entertainment industry. A talented newcomer builds a passionate community before catching the eye of a big corporation; a buy-out ensues and the original fanbase is alienated. Sometimes it’s a rock band, sometimes a movie director, and sometimes it’s a virtual reality technology firm with an affordable head-mounted display unit and a charming 21-year-old at its head.
Yes, reactions to Facebook’s $2bn purchase of Oculus VR, creator of the Oculus Rift headset, have been… varied. On Tuesday night, while business analysts were carefully sifting through Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement, attempting to understand his intentions, hundreds of game developers were registering their concerns on Twitter. This is bad, was a familiar refrain, bad for Oculus, bad for games and bad for virtual reality.