About a year and a half ago, tech company Oculus launched a Kickstarter
in which it asked backers for monetary help to develop a virtual-reality headset for video games. The crowdfunding campaign was wildly successful, bringing in nearly 10 times the initial $250,000 goal.
Tuesday, Facebook announced that it was acquiring Oculus for the hefty sum of $2 billion. That’s great news for the company’s founders, who published a celebratory blog post Tuesday afternoon
, but what about the backers who shelled out their cash to help a burgeoning company? They’re not so pleased.
“I backed this concept in the hopes they'd make something wonderful. Sadly all they did was make themselves wonderfully rich,” backer Drew Madsen wrote on the comments page of Oculus’ Kickstarter campaign
Other commenters complained that the sale occurred before Oculus has released a consumer version of its headset. Quite a few openly worried that Facebook’s acquisition of the company would mean Oculus’ technology will be compromised.
“I don't want anything to do with Facebook,” wrote backer S J Bennett. “I definitely don't want them steering such a promising project into an adware-infected, platform-locked piece of junk that requires a Facebook login to even use.”
A few supporters did speak up to say Oculus’ deal with Facebook appears to give the company a considerable amount of autonomy to keep their products open, but the response on the comments page is largely critical. A few commenters are flat-out asking for refunds, and many say this could be the beginning of the end for Oculus.
“Part of me is impressed that Facebook has managed to stay relevant for as long as it has, part of me is disgusted by what it does to do so,” wrote commenter Joel Edelstein. “All of me is worried about what part Oculus has in this puzzle. I just can’t, as hard as I try, imagine anything good.”
Oculus has yet to reply to any of the comments. The company did repost its announcement blog post to Kickstarter
, where even more commenters
criticized the decision.
“I can understand it from an economical POV, but from a PR POV, this has to be the worst decision you've made so far,” wrote backer Henrik Danielsson.
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What do you think, PR Daily
readers? Should Facebook and Oculus act to appease the legion of nearly 10,000 Kickstarter backers?