Anyone who purchases a new Oculus device after October 2020 will be required to log into the VR platform using Facebook, the social media giant announced on Tuesday. This consolidation won’t be forced on veteran VR-gamers immediately, who can continue using their existing Oculus accounts until January 1, 2023. But after that deadline, the VR platform will end support for Oculus accounts and require users to log in through Facebook if they want access to the “full functionality” of their $399 headsets.
Unsurprisingly, Oculus fans are fuming at Facebook’s latest overreach into the world of virtual reality.
Facebook bought Oculus in 2014, and the walls between the two companies have been eroding ever since. Users could log into the Facebook 360 VR app and use the platform if they wanted to, but now even switching on the app will require Oculus owners to use Facebook as a middleman. It’s a bit like if your Samsung-made TV could only be turned on using a Samsung account.
VR fans are raging — In response, some promised to never buy an Oculus device, despite the company’s successful push into more affordable headsets.
“I smelled this coming,” wrote Redditor XL_Pharrow in a thread on the popular Games subreddit. “If you wanna be social with VR without sucking the Zucc you’re going to have to shell more for Oculus’ competitors. Not that VR was ever in my pay grade but I’m sad because the Quest was on my wishlist for quite some time.”
Meanwhile, some people who already own a headset say they plan to sell them.
“Enormously disappointing, but hardly surprising,” said Reddit user Peregrine2976. “I now regret my purchase of an Oculus Rift a couple years back. Will probably just sell it second-hand and get a different headset.”
Mandatory Facebook integration for Oculus devices has long been something users feared after the tech company acquired the brand of VR headsets in 2014. With its new parent company, Oculus continued to promise its fanbase that logging into Facebook to hop on VR would never be required. That’s a pledge that Oculus’ founder Palmer Luckey even said he trusted at the time.
But Facebook tells Inverse that things have changed since the acquisition was brokered. Eliminating Oculus accounts in favor of Facebook accounts was the next step in Facebook’s future plans for Oculus devices, as far as the social media company is concerned.