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Michael Abrash joins Oculus

Valve VR specialist jumps to Rift maker to work on "the platform to end all platforms," lauds Facebook acquisition

The Facebook acquisition of Oculus apparently hasn't hampered the firm's ability to attract high-profile talent. Today, Oculus announced that the hiring of ex-Valve virtual reality specialist Michael Abrash as its chief scientist, and Abrash made the acquisition sound like a selling point.

"We're on the cusp of what I think is not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform - the platform to end all platforms - and the path here has been so improbable that I can only shake my head," Abrash said in a blog post on the Oculus site. "The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday."

Abrash suggested that the success of VR is now not so much a matter of "if," but "when." He said his concern used to be that VR couldn't take off until a huge company invested the money needed to make hardware that could showcase the idea's potential, but no company would make that sort of investment unless the potential was already proven.

"I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff," Abrash said. "That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR - and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can."

Abrash will join fellow former Valve VR veteran Atmin Binstock at Oculus. Binstock was announced as the company's new chief architect earlier this month.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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