Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

Oculus CEO: "We want to put a billion people in VR"

Oculus CEO: "We want to put a billion people in VR"

Tue 06 May 2014 8:57am GMT / 4:57am EDT / 1:57am PDT
HardwareDevelopment

Brendan Iribe describes ambitious vision for, "the largest MMO ever made"

With the backing of Facebook, Oculus VR now has the freedom to think big: roughly the size of a billion-player MMO.

Speaking at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe illustrated the scale of ambition that Facebook's network affords. Iribe claimed that the company the choice of using, "any part of Facebook or not," and Oculus is already targeting a huge portion of Facebook's near 1.3 billion user base.

"We know with Oculus, with a virtual world, if you're putting on this pair of glasses and you're gonna be face-to-face communicating with people, you're gonna be jumping in and out of this new set of virtual worlds, this is gonna be the largest MMO ever made," Iribe said.

"This is gonna be an MMO where we want to put a billion people in VR. And a billion person virtual world MMO is gonna require a bigger network than exists today. Why not start with Facebook and their infrastructure, and their team and their talent that they've built up?"

While Iribe framed this goal in the language of gaming, he also admitted that, while most of the team at Oculus is composed of game developers, the context of the way the company views itself has changed. The company remains committed to gaming, but after the Facebook acquisition it is a matter of what they want the platform to be: Gameboy or iPhone.

"Do you want to be a platform that has a billion users on it, or 10, 20 or 50 million?" Iribe asked. "In terms of content, for game developers, they're going to have a lot more success shipping into an ecosystem that has a billion users rather than one that has 50 or 100 million users."

Oculus VR is currently in a legal tangle with ZeniMax Media, which has claimed that former id Software boss John Carmack has used tech and code developed at ZenIMax in his work on the Oculus Rift. The claim has been roundly dismissed by both Carmack and Oculus.

15 Comments

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
It's funny, I'm already playing an MMO with roughly six billion people in stereoscopic 3D! Dream a little bigger, Oculus honchos. We're not sure you're visionaries just yet.

Posted:7 months ago

#1

Russ Cogman Senior Game Artist, Serious Games International

26 53 2.0
Popular Comment
I've seen the Matrix. I don't wanna be a battery.

Posted:7 months ago

#2

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,186 1,273 1.1
"Do you want to be a platform that has a billion users on it, or 10, 20 or 50 million?"
In case doubling up just isn't your style, add one or two orders of magnitude.

Posted:7 months ago

#3

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 0.5
Ugh... a social MMO experiment? count me out unless I can plug those goofy goggles in and NOT BE TRACKED, dammit. What happens when people decide they want their lives private again and not broadcast for all to see? As for:
"Do you want to be a platform that has a billion users on it, or 10, 20 or 50 million?" Iribe asked. "In terms of content, for game developers, they're going to have a lot more success shipping into an ecosystem that has a billion users rather than one that has 50 or 100 million users."
Duh. I want to be on a platform that has users that enjoy the product every time they use it, NOT just part of a greedy numbers game that looks great on paper and in presentations, but doesn't at all show the burn off from folks who buy, try and get tired of the product after a few weeks or months. Happens with all tech and it'll happen here once the novelty wears off of the shiny VR apple. if I'm wrong, I'll eat more crow pie, but I can see people BURNING through content faster than it can be created, which will be hell when they stop buying stuff because they see it as all the same thing after a year or two...

Posted:7 months ago

#4

Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike

117 127 1.1
I've chimed on this before, as right now VR is my primary focus here at NIKE, but this is always where VR was going. The Facebook acquisition to me is exactly where Oculus wanted and wants to be. I recognize my own bias on this, but working on projects that aim to connect people in a shared experience has shown me the concrete possibilities of the myriad of ways all this can work, and I there is a tendency to get caught up in the hyperbole of these experiences, but after the work I've been involved with I'm a true believer in how this COULD be a social paradigm shift in the way that people experience social shared content, share ideas, interact with brands, and work together.

One of the only things I can share is something we're not commercializing, and its this virtual boardroom we created by scanning one of our boardrooms and creating a 3D model of it, complete with a white board. It at first was just a novelty where some of us from different parts of the building would use to experiment with and chat with each other, and its progressed into a tool that we actively use to have virtual meetings with our developers both in-house and out of house and its just ridiculously cool...and useful.

Well, as useful as any "meeting" is.

I'm very excited for the gaming experiences of VR obviously, but the real driver of this technology is going to be all of the social possibilities of this.

And yes, I fully admit to be swimming in the Koolaid.

Posted:7 months ago

#5

Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike

117 127 1.1
Oh, and Greg - speaking of being tracked... Do you own a cellphone? :)

Posted:7 months ago

#6

Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer

33 128 3.9
This seems to be exactly what everyone was so worried about when the acquisition news hit. There's just no such thing as autonomy.

Posted:7 months ago

#7

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 0.5
Eric: I own a N-Gage QD. That's all I need.

Posted:7 months ago

#8

Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike

117 127 1.1
What are we worried about though? That our precious VR baby moves beyond being a toy / novelty experience exclusively for us gamers? Gamers tend to be a cagey sort, and I get it. We're slow to trust, hard to impress, a skeptical bunch. There are THOUSANDS of developers right now who are busting their asses off on creating VR gaming experiences (one of my favorites is TECHNOLUST, check it out). Nothing has changed with the SDK kit other than continued optimizations to the operation of the device. When the consumer rift releases in 2016, the gaming content is going to be there. I know many developers in the rift community who are excited as hell about this. Once you experience that magic moment of "presence" in a virtual world, it's a bit (and I see this as a coming problem) addictive, and it makes using a monitor a lackluster flat experience.

The social dynamic has always been a big driver of technology in general, and it's difficult for me to agree that putting VR technology in more peoples hands is a bad thing. The more people that are exposed to it, the more viable the technology becomes for major companies to invest into it, the more we're going to see bad ass gaming experiences.

Posted:7 months ago

#9

Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike

117 127 1.1
Greg: My point is just that our mobile phones are incredibly great personal locator devices for the big brother...

Posted:7 months ago

#10

Paul Jace Merchandiser

955 1,449 1.5
"This is gonna be an MMO where we want to put a billion people in VR"
Cue a picture of Dr. Evil holding his pinky to his mouth.

Posted:7 months ago

#11

Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist,

67 46 0.7
Why does it always have to be about size. Bigger may sometimes be better for business, but as a player I won't meet most of the MMO population anyway. 1 million players, ten million, a hundred million - it won't really matter from a gameplay perspective unless the mechanics are incredible complex. It would be great if it really mattered, as if we could all be part of some kind of collective conscience. Facebook works because it's a network filled with original content. Most game worlds are restricted by a limited palette of actions, gameplay mechanics and motivations. If a player character is able to express a tiny fragment of the player's personality. how are they going to accomodate a billion different mindsets in a way that affect the virtual world in real time?

If they can make a system that can run with a billion players in real time, fine. But don't list it as a game feature unless it creates a different experience than a game with 100 000 players.

Posted:7 months ago

#12
The two camps of VR gaming - on one side size / money, the other quality / fun!

Posted:7 months ago

#13
Well said Kevin and thanks for the insight Eric

Posted:7 months ago

#14

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
I cannot see VR being as practical as mobile. The main reason people own a mobile device is to COMMUNICATE. Its vital in how are and interact as a society. Thats why so many people own a mobile device. I cannot see VR being a device people cannot live without. I also find it to be a device that will continue to isolate people further. Sorry but I remember when I was a kid going outside to play, now a days kids just click on a touch screen for everything, play baseball, talk, and the funny thing is, they can be in the same damn room. VR will be a novelty at best for people who have extra money to burn on something they dont need. And if I do try out a VR device, it would be SONY's "morpheus". I own a PS4, most shop will have demo units installed in stores soon enough.

Posted:7 months ago

#15

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now