Brendan Iribe was one of the founding members of Oculus, and headed up the company from 2012, keeping his position even after the Facebook buy out until he moved to take command of the PC division. Now it seems Iribe has cut ties with Facebook, even as rumours swirl that Facebook has abandoned work on a successor to the Oculus Rift.
Iribe has said on Facebook that he is intending to depart from Facebook, stating that he is proud of the work done by Oculus and thanking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his confidence in virtual reality (VR) development.
A report from TechCrunch said that the reasons for Iribe’s departure were related to the alleged cancellation of the Oculus rift 2 headset, though Facebook has been quick to deny this part of the report.
Speaking with Road to VR, a Spokeperson from Oculus denied that the TechCrunch report was accurate, saying: “[We are confirming that] we are planning a future version of Rift. You may remember Mark saying this at OC5: “… when we release the next version of Rift—which isn’t this year—all of the content that works for Rift will also work on the next version. So while we aren’t quite ready to talk about the next version of Rift, PC VR is still a category we are investing in. It’s still a part of our strategy – we’re continuing work across product and content and you’ll see this manifest next year. Additionally, Nate [Mitchell, another Oculus co-founder,] continues to lead the Rift/PC team and there are no changes there.”
The author of the TechCrunch piece, Lucas Matney, took to Twitter to claim the report was indeed accurate, saying Facebook were avoiding addressing the central claim, saying: “Plans to build a PC headset further down the line is a different clarification than them shelving plans for a productized “Rift 2” headset. There may be future PC headset with the Rift name, but the next-generation that was being planned has been cancelled.”
As usual, VRFocus will be keeping a close eye on this issue and will continue to bring you updates.