Tuesday October 23, 2018

Oculus Co-Founder Leaves Facebook Amid Rift 2 Cancellation Reports

In a Facebook post, Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe announced that he's leaving Facebook. On the surface of things, the departure seems to be relatively amicable, as most high profile departures are. However, Techcrunch seems to think that his departure is related to the cancellation of the Oculus Rift 2. According to their source, Iribe had "fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time," and he "wasn't interested in a 'race to the bottom.'" In response, another cofounder working for Facebook tweeted that they are "still driving forward on the Rift/PC platform with new hardware, software, and content." While it seems that the Oculus Rift is still alive on PC, they didn't outright deny the cancellation either, suggesting that future Oculus Rift development may head in a different direction.

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Iribe's exit comes at a time when a number of the founders of Facebook's high-profile startup acquisitions are leaving the company. Less than a month ago, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced their plans to leave the company in a decision that TechCrunch was told was partially the result of mounting tensions. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum left Facebook earlier this year. Iribe's fellow co-founder Palmer Luckey left Facebook in early 2017, a decision he recently recounted was not a choice that he made. Iribe came onto Facebook after the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014 where he had been the company's founding CEO. After a substantial company reorganization in late 2016, Iribe was moved from the CEO position to the head of the company's PC VR division.