Palmer Luckey, the inventor of Oculus, appears to have just supported the ReVive platform with a large donation on Patreon. The money will help ReVive make Oculus-exclusive games playable on the HTC Vive virtual reality platform, reducing the edge Oculus has on the Vive in terms of content offerings.
Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, and in early 2017 Palmer Luckey left Oculus. Since then, Luckey has been getting around. Meanwhile, the battle for VR continues. Luckey’s Patreon support for the person behind ReVive will help make current VR titles available to a wider audience. His donation of $2000 per month pushed the Patreon campaign for ReVive much closer to its goal.
The motivation behind Luckey’s donation is uncertain. His departure from Facebook, thereby leaving Oculus behind, could suggest a bad relationship. In that case, donating to the ReVive campaign would be a sort of revenge, as making Oculus games available for HTC Vive may undercut Oculus sales. Being a pioneer in VR, Luckey may just have an interest in ensuring VR content is available to as many people as possible. Oculus has a large number of timed exclusives, meaning a smaller audience for the content, and the ReVive program can change that.
HTC Vive owners definitely have a lot to gain from this. Jules Blok started the campaign to receive continued support for ReVive while studying in university. If ReVive continues to receive support and get updates, HTC Vive owners will have more content to choose from. In general, the VR community should be able to grow more, as customers will be freer to choose their platform.
Facebook and Oculus have not been the most supportive of the ReVive program. When it comes to ReVive, the PR team for Oculus has said, “This is a hack, and we don’t condone it. Users should expect that hacked games won’t work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software.” Updates to the Oculus platform have had varying effects on ReVive compatibility, having both reduced and increased compatibility at different times. The financial future of the ReVive project may be set, but it faces an uncertain future at the hands of Oculus and Facebook.
The Oculus Rift is available now.