FILE - In this June 11, 2015 file photo, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey holds up the new Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for photographers following a news conference in San Francisco. Luckey is leaving the company. Facebook did not give a reason for Luckey's departure. His last day is Friday, March 31, 2017.
Palmer Luckey may have founded Oculus, but he stayed away from today's big Oculus Connect event after stirring up some trouble recently. Late last month, it was discovered that Luckey donated 10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group that wanted to take some garbage Reddit-style harassment memes and get them into the mainstream via billboards and other prominent messages (something it has failed to do thus far). He apologized, but plenty of developers and Oculus supporters took exception to his actions. Oculus confirmed today that he "chose note to attend" the event to avoid being a "distraction." Instead, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg led a rotating cast of speakers through the two-plus hour conference, which offered a release date and pricing for the Oculus Touch controllers and a host of software demos.
Just in case you were wondering what Palmer Luckey does with all that Facebook money, a The Daily Beast article reveals what he's been up to lately. The outlet says Luckey confirmed he is behind the Reddit pseudonym "NimbleRichMan," providing financial backing to an organization claiming it's proven that "shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real." The Reddit profile has been deleted, but the group's original announcement is archived here. Dubbed Nimble America, it's a pro-Trump organization spreading anti-Hillary Clinton memes, calling the Democratic candidate "corrupt, a warmonger, a freedom-stripper," claiming that people will only be offended because they hate Trump and can't stand to see successful people. Luckey's liaison with the organization is apparently none other than Milo Yiannopolis.
Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has always railed against the idea of locking VR games to a single platform. Now, several months after leaving Facebook following controversy about his political donations to a pro-Trump group, Luckey is stepping back into the VR world in a surprising way. Waypoint reports that he's contributing $2,000 a month to the Patreon campaign for Revive, a tool that lets HTC Vive owners play games that are only available on the Oculus Rift. "As some of you suspected the sudden extreme jump in the pledge amount is indeed by Palmer Luckey," Revive developer Jules Blok said in the campaign's blog. "I'd like to thank him for his pledge and everything he has done for the VR community as a whole."
Virtual reality pioneer Palmer Luckey has left Facebook, six months after it was revealed that he had secretly funded a pro-Trump campaign group dedicated to turning the tide of the US election through "meme magic" and "shitposting". Luckey, who founded virtual reality company Oculus in 2012 when he was 19, has been a Facebook employee since Mark Zuckerberg's social network bought his firm in 2014 for $2bn. In a statement, Facebook said "Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer's legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry.