The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is an exciting piece of hardware, and valuable too, judging by the recent $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook. Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe referenced that acquisition last month, when he said he envisions reaching "a billion users" with the device by broadening its functionality beyond just gaming. But the top dog at Take-Two Interactive has a different view of things, describing it as "anti-social technology" that will only appeal to core gamers.
When news surfaced that Facebook had agreed to buy up Oculus VR, it became clear the headset maker had big plans for its virtual reality technology. Now we have an idea of just how big. Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe says the Rift headset could potentially serve as the platform for an MMO with "a billion" people, according to a report at The Verge.
The second major permutation of the virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift DK2, has reportedly sold 25,000 units since its pre-order page went live on March 19. After only a month, that number is almost half of what the first development kit, the DK1, sold in its lifetime. Aside from a few tweets and forum comments, this is the first hard news from inside Oculus VR since the company was infamously purchased by Facebook last month.
Cloud Imperium founder and creator of the upcoming Star Citizen Chris Roberts doesn’t think Oculus VR betrayed gamers by “selling out” to Facebook. In a post to Star Citizen's official website, he makes an argument that’s familiar at this point: Oculus VR needed a lot more money in order for the Rift to succeed.
The fury over Oculus VR’s acquisition by social media giant Facebook seems to have fallen to a low simmer as the raw emotion has a chance to cool. Another factor: we don’t really have any more information now than we did the day after the news broke. Aside from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s increasingly futile defense on reddit, no one inside the deal has spoken up. Now, development legend John Carmack, who famously left his position at Id software to work as Oculus’s chief technology officer, has spoken up for the first time.
In addition to making the Unreal series, Cliff Bleszinski is also an investor in Oculus VR. He admits in a recent blog post that, as an early investor in the company, he stands to make a lot of money from Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition. But he also thinks the deal is great for Oculus VR overall.
Less than two years ago, we were describing the Oculus as something that began as a “garage project.” Today, Facebook has bought Oculus VR for $2 billion in stock and cash, surprising all and horrifying some. Here in the PC Gamer office, we all have our own theories and thoughts on what Facebook’s involvement means for the future of VR gaming—and how the deal will impact PC gaming as a whole. Here are our reactions to the Oculus purchase, written shortly after the deal was announced.
The news that Facebook will acquire Oculus VR for $2 billion in a combined cash/stock deal has, understandably, taken over the internet. Everyone on Twitter is posting reactions—some are excited, many are shocked, and almost everyone is surprised. Mojang's Markus "Notch" Persson has weighed in on the news by canceling talks for an upcoming, official version of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift.
Facebook has reached a "definitive agreement" to buy Oculus VR for around $2 billion. Oculus is the clear leader in virtual reality headsets—only recently challenged by Sony's Project Morpheus—and though it hasn't yet released a consumer product, the company announced last week that the second version of its Oculus Rift Development Kit will ship this summer.
The enormous careers of Dave Jones (Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, APB) and Stieg Hedlund (Diablo, Diablo II, Ghost Recon), are intersecting in ChronoBlade, an action-RPG published on Facebook. I visited Jones and Hedlund at their studio in San Francisco to talk about what brought them together, their thoughts on the value of independence, and the changing role of publishers in the game industry.
Social gaming titan Zynga isn't known for diversity in its products. It often deals with accusations of cloning popular games from other developers—app studio NimbleBit's response to a Zynga game uncannily similar to its Tiny Tower sim is perhaps the best sarcasm-laden example. But in an open letter on the company's website (via Eurogamer), Zynga New York boss Dan Porter claims that in the world of social gaming, everyone copies everyone else.
THQ's holiday generosity apparently rubbed off on Nvidia, as the hardware giant is giving away free download keys for Metro 2033 for those liking their Facebook page. The promotion lasts for the 10 remaining days leading into Christmas Eve.
Yesterday I was convinced that Hitman Absolution's Deus Ex DLC items would be among the stupidest promotional stuff we'd see for the game. Unfortunately, they weren't. A Facebook campaign that launched today - before being quickly removed after RPS spotted it - encouraged people to send a hit on their friends.
This morning our Facebook page ticker ticked right over the 200,000 likes mark, which made us do a little cheer in the office. This means we're about about 20 times bigger than Big Ben, four times more popular than potatoes, and about five times more awesome than lions. It's going to be a while before we can take on chocolate, but with your help ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Thanks for the support, everyone! It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. That's partly due to the little known fact that Facebook likes can be mixed into hot beverages to inspire feelings of euphoria and a 10.4% boost in writing efficiency, but large numbers also trigger favourable emotions in our soul-circuits. If you haven't already, you can check out our shiny new timeline thing by heading over to the PC Gamer Facebook page now. You can also keep track of our movements, and all the latest in PC gaming, by following our @PC_Gamer Twitter account. We're on Google+ too. It's official. PC gaming is BETTER THAN LIONS.
If you want to be marketed to these days, you've got to work for it. The latest Assassin's Creed III teaser bloodies up a Red Coat to motivate us to get on-board with game's big social media push. By "liking" the Facebook page and tweeting the hashtag #AC3, you too can help unlock the first gameplay trailer. Yay.
As it is, the teaser portrays the series' new protagonist as a rather viscous hunter of men, and has throttled up my excitement for tree running even further. We'll let you know when our participation in social media marketing earns us a new advertisement.
All of the keys have been given out! Thanks again to everyone who participated!
Greetings, PCG visitors! Stay awhile, and listen! We've got a heap of Diablo III beta codes, and we want to give them to you. Whether you're amped to play the crafty Wizard, cold-blooded Demon Hunter, combo-centric Monk, shamanistic Witch Doctor, or the classic Barbarian, this will be your chance to get ahead of the pack.
We'll be giving away the codes en masse on the PC Gamer Facebook and Twitter pages; simply find the post, hit the "Like" button, then click "Reshare." Once we've hit our (super-secret) tallies, we'll throw out another batch of codes like money onto a crowded street. No longer do you need to consider sacrificing a goat to Rakanishu to get Diablo III beta access—this is your chance!
Are you one of the 100,000 daily users who enjoy creating recipes, baking goods, hiring your friends, and serving customers each day?
Probably not, but that's not the point. PopCap are closing down Baking Life at the end of January, and any "Zip Cash" bought with real-life money will be erased from existence.
I've never baked a virtual cake via the Baking Life app, but that PopCap aren't offering any exchange or refund option sets an ugly precedent for the value of microtransactions and gamer's rights. As pointed out in the screenshot below, PopCap seem keen to redirect players to alternative Facebook titles, but don't seem so keen on converting player's funds.
Sid Meier's social take on Civilization is now live for all to play on Facebook. 2K have been running an invite-only closed beta for a short while, which has been sending Owen slightly mad with power. "Look at all my little men!" he would cry as his city slowly grew "look at them!"
Not only can you look at your little men, you can give them jobs and instruct them to build an empire. As the video above explains, the aim of the game is to earn fame, through economic or military victories. You can form groups with your friends and work together to achieve co-operative victories as well. It also offers the rare opportunity for you to become king of all your friends. Head to the Civ World Facebook page to start your reign of terror.
Facebook games are—WAIT, DON'T GO! This one's a cut above the Farmvilles and Mafia Wars you've played before. Vorp! is a top-down space shooter that plays like the lovechild of Asteroids and Geometry Wars. Before today, the game was confined to some high-score singleplayer maps and a rudimentary deathmatch, but the Defense of the Armada mode adds 5v5 MOBA action. And that can only mean one thing—it's time to conquer the galaxy the only way I know how: leveling abilities and ganking unsuspecting pilots.
The trailer above is our first look at Civ World, the upcoming Civilization Facebook game that's trying to put an accessible spin on one of the most complex and detailed empire-building strategy games ever made.
Have they succeeded? Trading with friends to achieve a collaboratively could be fun, but my favourite bit is the little crown icon you get for being the most successful empire. Who doesn't want to be king of all their friends? The game's currently in beta, but you can find out how to join on the Civ World Facebook page.