In his first interview since leaving Facebook in late March, Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey said he felt restrained while working for the social network, which acquired his virtual reality startup for $3 billion in 2014.
24-year-old Luckey was sidelined at Facebook last year after it was revealed that he had secretly funded a Conservative group whose aim was to create viral, anti-Hillary Clinton memes. The revelation created turmoil within the Oculus group at Facebook and led to multiple female employees resigning, people familiar with the matter told Business Insider.
In a recent interview with Japanese site MoguraVR that was translated on Road to VR, Luckey shared his thoughts on the future of virtual reality and why he could never cosplay while working at Facebook.
“At the moment I am an unemployed engineer, when I worked at Facebook I was just a business person,” he told MoguraVR. “The Oculus offices were on the Facebook campus. It certainly was a great working environment. But I had to restrain myself working there. I could not cosplay while working at Facebook.”
He certainly has no problem cosplaying now:
— ミミヨン (@mimiyoooon) May 5, 2017
Luckey also predicted that it will take at least 10 years before mobile VR headsets will be better than high-end setups like the Oculus Rift, which requires a standalone PC and costs hundreds of dollars.
He said that “integrated” headsets that combine the power of PCs with mobile portability will be “the mainstream of the VR market in the next few years,” rather than headsets that require a smartphone, like the Samsung Gear VR. Facebook’s Oculus has said that it’s working on such an integrated headset, but hasn’t said when it will be available.
Ultimately, Luckey appears to be enjoying life as a free agent. He was recently photographed at an anime convention in Japan, and he has hinted at working on future investments in the VR industry.
“I am glad I’m not currently employed,” he told MoguraVR. “The good thing about independence is that you can stay yourself both at home and when outside.”