Palmer Luckey – founder of Oculus – got into an interesting comment war against a person (lets call him anonymous) who thinks that Oculus is creating a “closed garden” with their Oculus exclusive games.
Take note, /u/palmerluckey, people sharing new technology instead of creating a closed garden like Oculus’ exclusive games.
“Try harder. Exclusive games do not make a walled garden, and we share all kinds of content innovation and new technology with devs – the two concepts don’t even really have anything to do with each other, but if they did, I would think that allowing thousands of gamers and devs to play our exclusive content many months ahead of launch would fit into the “sharing new technology” category. That is the whole point of our Best Practices Guide (which includes advice on how to handle locomotion), ongoing blog posts from our top scientists, and open sourcing of hardware and software as quickly as we can. That is also the mission of Oculus Story Studio, to share all the tools we create and lessons we learn with developers of narrative content.
You are certainly free to take potshots at Oculus, but nobody is going to take you seriously if you try and tie your arguments to clear misrepresentation. If you are against the exclusive titles we are creating, you should probably attack them on their own merit.”
Here is where Cloudhead Games – creators of the Gallery: Six Elements and Blink system- stepped in:
“Don’t feed the trolls Palmer! lol.
On an unrelated note, please come down to visit us at PAX if you’re about. I want to get you Blinking ASAP! :)”
“I might be at PAX, lots of things still in the air!”
Anonymous responded again:
“Struck a nerve, did I? You’re creating a closed garden with oculus-exclusive titles, and your apologetics for your decision to pursue profit over an open VR experience ring as hollow as ever. If you can share technology, you can share titles. Pretending that it’s a good thing to have oculus exclsuive titles just because you share some technology is hypocritical and quite frankly exactly what people were afraid of when you signed over to Facebook. You’re not interested in VR proliferation, you’re interested in facebookVR market dominance.
Nobody would let up on Netflix if they made their originals exclusive to Samsung TVs. The console exclusives system has been horrible for gaming in general. Why would you think what you’re doing is any different to that is beyond me.
Try harder to live up to your own ideals.”
“”You’re creating a closed garden”
Look up the definition of closed garden. We are building an open platform, not even close.
“If you can share technology, you can share titles.”
Sharing technology is a philosophy that allows other people to build on what we build, pushing VR technology to be better overall. “Sharing” titles means us spending our own money to port and support titles we have already created for other platforms that don’t have the performance optimizations we have made with our own SDK. That does not make VR better, it does not raise the bar, it does not drive innovation. All it would do is reduce the quality of our own content in order to help the competition.”
“There’s a very strong difference between not supporting a platform and closing off your game from it completely. Can you tell me why you told to do the later and not the former?
Can your exclusive games be run on a Vive, yes or no?
If yes, you’re running a closed platform.
“closed garden is a software system where the carrier or service provider has control over applications, content, and media, and restricts convenient access to non-approved applications or content.”
I’m pretty sure creating oculus exclusive games qualifies as creating a closed-garden environment for the oculus. The entire platform may not be closed garden, but you’re still walling off a portion of it, and damaging VR for Facebook’s petty profit margins.
“Sharing” titles means us spending our own money to port and support titles we have already created for other platforms that don’t have the performance optimization we have made with our own SDK.”
No, sharing titles means not locking them away to your closed platform with threat of legal action if they’re ported by independent parties of their own free will to other devices. You don’t have to do a god damned thing, but you arechosing to threaten the free movement of software with Facebook’s legal department.
“That does not make VR better, it does not raise the bar, it does not drive innovation. All it would do is reduce the quality of our own content in order to help the competition.”
Yeah, we all know how closing off the VR experience behind legal threats is a real boon to innovation.”
“”There’s a very strong difference between not supporting a platform and closing off your game from it completely.
There is not. These games are built by teams that are 100% funded by Oculus, along with many of our own internal developers and producers. They are built specifically around our hardware, SDK, and platform features. Porting all of them to other platforms would take an enormous amount of work, and would take away time and resources from properly supporting our own platform. Doing so would be a bad decision on our part.
“Can your exclusive games be run on a Vive, yes or no? If yes, you’re running a closed platform.”
I am going to assume that you actually mixed up your yes/no order. If so, that is an absurd argument that can only be made from a position of ignorance as to how crossplatform support works. “Can The Witcher 3, a Windows exclusive, run on OSX? If no, then Windows is a closed platform!”
“locking them away to your closed platform with threat of legal action if they’re ported by independent parties of their own free will to other devices. You don’t have to do a god damned thing”
You are wrong, and you are also just speculating. You have absolutely no evidence of any of this being true beyond your own imagination, which clearly wants to paint us as evil people who hate innovation and love money.”
“”Porting all of them to other platforms would take an enormous amount of work, and would take away time and resources from properly supporting our own platform. Doing so would be a bad decision on our part.”
I don’t think you get it. What part of ” don’t hang legal threats over people’s heads if they decide they want to make a workaround for your game to run on the Vive” reads as “you should devote time to porting your game to the Vive”?
There is a difference between doing no work to port a game but still letting others mess around with it if they want to run it on the vive by their own effort, and closing it off from another HMD completely, legal threats and all.
Windows games can be run on Linux using Wine. Will your exclusives be able to be run on the Vive in a comparable way, through the efforts of parties unaffliated to you (seeking no profit), without threat of you sicking Facebook’s legal attack dogs on them?
SO either you plan to actually make and keep an enclosed Oculus market, with legal defenses and countermeasures against running games on other HMDs, with active attempts to sabotage a private individual’s efforts to run it on a Vive, or you’re taking a hands off approach and just creating games for Oculus without a care in the world what anybody does with them i or runs them on in their own private home.
Which is it?
“”hang legal threats over people’s heads if they decide they want to make a workaround for your game to run on the Vive”
Do you have a single non-imagination source for this happening?
No company is going to officially endorse unofficial workarounds.”
“You don’t have to officially endorse it. You just have to not ruin people’s lives with facebook’s hit-squad of lawyers, if they decide to do something greater with your product than you’ve been able to imagine under Facebook’s “vision”. Fair use. Not for profit. Just doing what they want to do with it in their own private conditions for their own private ends. The CD Projekt Red approach.
People will do this whether you allow it or not, of course. But you’re the one making the decision to defend you garden with legal threats.
So what’s going to be your company’s approach? When I make oculus game x run on the Vive, with no attempt at a personal profit, will you be sending me a court summons? Can I expect jail time or financial ruin for helping to spare my friends from the expensive case of market fragmentation that you’ve encouraged here?
These are serious questions, because this will happen whether you endorse it or not. What matters is how you’re going to handle it.”
“”ruin people’s lives with facebooks hit-squad of lawyers
you’re the one making the decision to defend you garden with legal threats.”
Yeah, let me know if this actually happens. Until then, you are just fear-mongering.”