Luckey defends Oculus' decision to fund Rift-exclusive game dev
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey shed some more light on the company's approach to game development when he took to Reddit this weekend to respond to user concerns regarding Oculus' decision to fund development of Rift-exclusive games from developers like Insomniac.
While many of Luckey's comments are aimed at assuaging concerns that Oculus is "locking down" these games and keeping them from coming to other VR platforms, his comments also afford developers an intriguing look at how Luckey perceives the company he founded: as a platform holder who, for now, would rather spend resources on supporting third-party developers creating games for its platform than compete with them via its own internal development efforts.
"These exclusive titles, in many ways, essentially are first party titles. They are funded by us, we have our own staff working on them, and they are optimized around our launch timeline and tech stack," wrote Luckey. "The only difference is that we chose to work with third parties to make them successful instead of competing with them through our own first party teams."
He went on to note that some developers of Rift exclusives may have the option to bring their games to other VR platforms after launch ("some will, some will not...it is way too early to be thinking about when and how support will be implemented for other HMDs when we have not even launched our own product yet") and tried to assuage concerns that VR game development was not as "open" as traditional PC game development.
"[PC game development] has been traditionally open to choice as the results of decades of standardization. All the major hardware player are tied together by standards like DirectX that allow game devs to write once and target everything in one shot," wrote Luckey in a comment that was later removed (screenshot below.)
"VR is not there yet, unfortunately. Right now, the only way to get the good performance is to use custom SDKs that are finely tuned around specific hardware implementations...as a concrete example, Rift support in SteamVR is much worse than our native SDK, when it works at all. Valve has clearly been prioritizing Vive support over Rift support, and in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. Our SDKs have some pretty radical differences, and that won't change in the near future."
You can read more of his thoughts and opinions in the thread linked above or, for convenience, you can find an ongoing list of his comments on his Reddit profile page.