Oculus’ Palmer Luckey Discusses Rift’s Kickstarter Success & Criticism

Palmer Luckey

Earlier this month, Oculus creator Palmer Luckey sat down to chat about his experience on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and career decisions.

During his interview, Luckey revealed that his career was never motivated by salary:

palmer luckey“This may sound – everyone says this – but it’s not about the money. I didn’t get into tech journalism for the money, I didn’t get into VR for the money. When I was in tech journalism, I thought I was taking a break from school after Oculus took off. That seemed like this riskier path at the time. Like ‘I’m almost done with my degree in tech journalism, am I really going to give up my career in tech journalism for this wacky VR thing?’ Well that sounded like a lot of fun, so I’m going to do that.”

Also explaining details about Oculus’ Kickstarter project, Palmer noted:

“Launching pre-orders is relatively easy compared to shipping a product. So it’s not like ‘What a weight off your shoulders!’, when in reality, taking pre-orders is the point where you are finally making an actual, solid commitment to when you’re going to ship, and how much you’re going to ship for, and you can’t stumble between when you do that and when you’re supposed to ship. It’s actually not a weight off of my shoulders at all.”

Luckey also revealed his thoughts about the criticism the project received:

Oculus Rift“People have valid criticisms of the way we handled the messaging around our price. I think the price criticisms around what it cost are slightly less valid, but at the same time, people’s concerns are still valid. When they say ‘This isn’t going to be mainstream,’ I could talk about how reducing the cost of our headset from $599 to $499 doesn’t really matter when the all-in cost for a non-gamer is still gonna be $1400 to $1500 [including a computer to run it]. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of people who do have graphics cards that are already compatible, and for them the cost of the headset is really the only cost, and from their perspective, I totally get what they’re saying.”

He then added:

“We are attacking the high-end, trying to build the best thing possible, and we are working on Gear VR, which is $99, works with the tens of millions of people who have modern Samsung phones. The reality is, these are decisions are all mine and Oculus’, and it’s because we think they’re the best decisions for the long term. And we haven’t abandoned gaming, we haven’t abandoned the high end, we also haven’t abandoned the low end. It’s really hard to keep every group of people happy when everyone wants a different thing.”




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