Oculus Founder Leaves Facebook

Oculus Founder Leaves Facebook

Contract is seemingly up and it's time for Palmer Luckey to go.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has left the VR company, three years after selling it to Facebook. Luckey's final week at Oculus VR ended last Friday.

"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," the company said in an official statement.

Facebook would not tell Upload VR if the departure was voluntary, declining to answer the question at all. The founder has kept a low profile in public and on social media, since it was found out that he was NimbleRichMan, a backer looking to pay for negative memes and billboards against then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The move led developers to ponder if they should continue supporting the Oculus platform.

It also follows what was likely a costly lawsuit filed by Zenimax, alleging that Oculus (and Facebook) had stolen trade secrets, notably when id Software's John Carmack moved over. In February, a jury found that Oculus had not stolen trade secrets, but it did find that Luckey had not complied with a related non-disclosure agreement. Oculus was ordered to pay Zenimax $500 million as a result of copyright infringement.

Facebook announced the acquisition of Oculus VR on March 25, 2017. The contract was likely signed around that date. That puts Luckey's departure at around three years from Oculus' purchase, give or take. Given the timing, it's likely that last Friday is when Luckey's contract with Facebook was finally up and both parties could part ways without any legal trouble.

You can see a similar voluntary departure when Bioware founders Doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk left Bioware in September 2012. Their departure date was around five years after the company had been acquired by Electronic Arts. In both cases, the day-to-day work had probably been done for months and both sides were just riding out the clock.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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