Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who helped kickstart the present VR-mania with a prototype headset built out of his parents garage, is leaving the company three years after selling it to Facebook. Oculus confirmed Luckey s departure in an official statement, which was first spotted by Upload. Also Read - Beware! Fraudsters using duplicate accounts for Facebook scamAlso Read - Instagram 'Live Rooms' now allows 3 more users in India
Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best. Also Read - WhatsApp to let you mute videos before sending, currently testing in beta
Luckey s entrance into the one of the tech world s most well-known teams with a product he built in his garage is quite interesting actually. A home-schooled college dropout, Luckey was a tinkerer who frequented message boards asking for help to rip apart and rebuild gaming consoles. All this magic went down in his parents garage. Eventually this interest in gaming consoled expanding to a deeper interest in 3D screens and head-mounted displays.
Consequently, this fascination brought him to come face to face with the legendary game developer John Carmack, who introduced Luckey to the gaming community after Carmack gave him a platform to showcase one of his VR headset prototypes at a major gaming conference. The responses at the conference birthed an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign, which attracted major investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Formation 8. But before Oculus could become anything itself, Facebook took it under its wing, acquiring the platform in March 2014 for $2 billion. And ever since, Luckey has worked with the Rift team.
However, besides the star on his shoulder for being the man behind Oculus, Luckey is also known for a number of lawsuits and a pro-Trump meme scandal. Last year a The Daily Beast alleged Luckey to a far-right political group named Nimble America that used inflammatory online tactics to discourage the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, reported UploadVR.. The story alleged that Luckey donated significant funds to Nimble America. It also attached him to several unflattering online posts written under the pseudonym NimbleRichMan (posts Luckey later disavowed). The tactics of Nimble America combined with its tacit support of Clinton s controversial opponent, current US president Donald Trump, sparked severe outrage toward Luckey. Soon after Luckey issued an online apology.
Few weeks after his apology post, Oculus held its third Oculus Connect (OC3) developer conference. For two consecutive year at the Oculus Connect 1 and Oculus Connect 2 conference, Luckey had been a major personality, however, in the third year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took over instead. ALSO READ: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows off prototype Oculus VR gloves
Then, in January this year, Luckey made a comeback to the public to testify an IP lawsuit, which was brought against him and other co-founders at Oculus VR by ZeniMax Media. Facebook was ordered to pay $500 million in damages to the company, with $50 million being paid by Luckey himself, who was found to have violated his NDA with ZeniMax Media. ALSO READ: Facebook s Oculus VR team to pay $500 million for copyright infringement
It was last month, when Facebook saw a major executive shakeup, when the company appointed ex-Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra as Facebook VP of VR, when many were left wondering what the future would hold for Palmer Luckey. Now we know. ALSO READ: Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi to join Facebook s Oculus VR team