There’s something of a war for control of VR in living rooms at the moment. On the low-cost end is Sony’s upcoming PSVR, on the high-cost end is HTC’s Vive system. Right in the middle though is the one that started the new wave – the Oculus Rift. Now though the VR company is facing its biggest PR concern since its acquisition by Facebook a few years ago.
On Thursday it was revealed that Palmer Luckey, the creator of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, had made an apparent $10,000 donation to a pro-Donald Trump nonprofit group called Nimble America. Said group is known for producing anti-Clinton memes to spread online and their stated goal is to be a ‘non-profit dedicated to s—posting in real life’. S—posting refers to generating deliberately defamatory or offensive content with no value other than promoting division and inflaming the already aggressive political discourse.
As a result, several Oculus Rift game developers have said they will distance themselves from the platform because of Luckey’s political involvement. Ars Technica and according to IGN have rounded up quotes from several gaming studios with Polytron (“Fez”), Kokoromi (“SuperHyperCube”), Tomorrow Today Labs and Scruta Games along with developers like Augustin Cordes (“Asylum”) who suggest or outright state they will pull Oculus support for their games until Luckey steps down.
Luckey himself has backtracked a bit, denying he was responsible for some Reddit posts attributed to him by the Daily Beast (the outlet has since fired back with alleged proof they were) and saying he’s voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson in an apology he’s posted to Facebook.
There’s going to be more to this story as it develops.