A number of those who supported Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter campaign have lashed out at its sale to Facebook.
Although there is nothing in Kickstarter’s T&Cs to prevent a company being acquired, many backers feel betrayed that their money has helped to fund a product that is now owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s social media empire.
Of course opinion is divided and there are some who are pleased with the deal, arguing that the financial clout of Facebook heralds a brighter dawn for VR than ever before.
Regardless, the depth of negative feeling from both backers, the public and even parts of the press is palpable.
Here’s a selection of comments from the Rift’s Kickstarter page:
“I am a minor backer and after I had ordered DK2 I hate to see Oculus join facebook. Facebook is something I hate from the bottom of my heart (never joined it) .. the news totally ruined my day and I'm thinking of canceling my pre-order.”
“Two companies died with the announcement. Oculus and Kickstarter. The rise and fall of Kickstarter.”
“I am saddened that the independent dream that was Oculus is now selling out to Facebook. Honestly, I feel that every single donor should get a "kickback/refund" from that $2 Billion (they'd still have plenty left over!) to put towards a kickstarter project that isn't a masquerading golddigger. The whole idea of Kickstarter is to support people in making the world a better place through original ideas and technology, not selling out to corporate America. We already have enough politicians that do that - and you see how good that's worked out for the country. A shame and disappointment to everyone who backed Oculus; it's a damn shame.”
“This is not what I backed this project for. Seriously not. I hope Kickstarter will learn from this and find ways to prevent such abuse of their platform in the future. You lost a lot of credibility due to this. And Oculus? Oh well ... RIP.”
“I would prefer EA or Microsoft over Facebook, at least they make AAA games.”
“So where does one go to get their $ 300 back? I think we as backers have a right to the product too, and I'm not okay with my money being spent on technology that goes into the hands of Facebook.”
“AAAAAAANNNNNND the Rift is gone.”
“I want my pledge back.”
“I feel used. So frustrated right now. That is uncalled for...”
“I just wanted to express my deep disgust with the sale of Oculus to Facebook. There were so many great companies that could have acquired this product, why FACEBOOK?? I guess when someone is throwing an unimaginably large sum of money at you its hard to say no. I get the feeling that Oculus just committed suicide. I REALLY believed in Oculus and wanted to support them in every way I could. As a developer I was giddy with excitement, now I am kinda sad.”
“That means I should get a little bit more than that even. I hope a class action happens that gives us pledgers a certain percentage of that $2b based on the percentage we gave to the Kickstarter!”
“So Oculus, I backed the original Kickstarter for $10... I'd like my $8200 (.00041%) of that 2$ billion Facebook deal now, please. I backed a VR project for games, not a massive social media company's fairly obvious attempt to stay relevant in the face of a waning Facebook and make more money in the long run. I'm a game developer/artist struggling to even find a job in the face of frequent studio layoffs. Shareholder stake in something I believed in would have helped a LOT right about now, but screw the little people, right? Thanks for that...”
“I supported this because it's something that I've wanted to see become a reality since I read my first William Gibson novel. Now I find out that I might as well have handed my money right to Facebook and I feel a little sick. Enjoy your payday I guess. Please forward me an address so I can return my T-Shirt.”
“I hate Facebook. Now that Oculus is controlled by Facebook, I hate Oculus. Sony 'Project Morpheus', here's looking at you now!”
“now that you're swimming in money could you please ship free DK2s to your 9522 backers? that would be a kind way to say goodbye before you bail out.”
“What a disappointing decision to cash out even before getting first consumer version out.”
“You selling out to Facebook is a disgrace. It damages not only your reputation, but the whole of crowdfunding. I cannot put into words how betrayed I feel by this.”
“Thanks for selling us out Palmer! You couldn't have chosen a worse company. Why not also teaming up with the NSA... Sadly I supported this company. A mistake which will not happen again.”
“I think I would have rather bought a few shares of Oculus rather than my now worthless $300 obsolete VR headset. What's two billion dollars amongst 9,522 friends? I'd be happy with my $300 back.”