Oculus’s Brendan Iribe Is the Latest Founder to Flee Facebook

Donna Miller
October 23, 2018

Over email, an Oculus spokesperson didn't directly address the existence of a "Rift 2" headset and whether its development had been canceled last week, but did say "we are planning a future version of Rift" and pointed to Mark Zuckerberg's recent Oculus 5 keynote. Iribe founded Oculus VR with Palmer Luckey, Michael Antonov and Nate Mitchell in 2012, before it was bought by Facebook, so his exit is significant.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook reportedly said that its product roadmap includes PC VR, not just standalone headsets that require neither phone nor computer.

I'm deeply proud and grateful for all that we've done together. We started a revolution that will change the world in ways we can't even envision. Although we're still far from delivering the magical smart glasses we all dream about, now they are almost within our reach.

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If true, that would be huge news for the future of PC-focused VR, and reinforce the notion that Facebook sees the future of VR in less powerful (but much more affordable) all-in-one devices like the Oculus Quest. I'd like to sincerely thank everyone that's been a part of this awesome journey, especially Mark for believing in this team and the future of VR and AR. It's time to recharge, reflect and be creative.

Although Iribe's parting words are framed positively, there are whispers that internal strife over the direction of VR is the reason he's leaving.

Multiple Facebook executives thanked Iribe for is work following the announcement, with Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer writing that Iribe had "championed VR from its earliest days, when prototypes were still duct-taped and hot-glued", and Facebook's head of AR and VR Andrew Bosworth adding: "You built an incredible team and you defined the first generation of VR".

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