Oculus Rift Creator Palmer Luckey Departs Facebook Following Tumultuous Legal Battle
"Palmer will be dearly missed," Facebook said in a statement. "Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best."
Image Source: Flickr (eVRydayVR)
It is not clear if Luckey voluntarily decided to leave Facebook or if he was pressured into doing so. Either way, it's an unfortunate end to his official involvement with Oculus and the Rift headset that he brought to Kickstarter several years ago. It was also perhaps inevitable after Luckey fessed up to and apologized for contributing $10,000 to Nimble America, a pro-Trump "s**tposting" group
"I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners.The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views," wrote in a Facebook post on September 23, 2016.
Two months after that post, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at Oculus Connect developer conference to talk about social VR. Luckey did not attend, as he did not want to be a distraction. He was still employed at Facebook.
In January of this year, Luckey spoke out about Oculus, though it was as a witness in a lawsuit. ZeniMax was suing Facebook for alleged intellectual property theft, and both Luckey and Zuckerberg took the stand to defend against the allegations. A jury ultimately decided that Oculus had not misappropriated any trade secrets, but that Luckey did not comply with a non-disclosure agreement he signed when working at ZeniMax. Collectively, he and fellow Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe were ordered to pay ZeniMax $500 million.
Where Luckey goes from here or what his next venture will be is not known.
Thumbnail Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Dcoetzee)