No matter one’s political leanings, the rise and fall of Palmer Luckey has been a fascinating story. Credited as the mastermind behind the creation of the Oculus Rift, the first entry of the modern day push for consumer level virtual reality, the entrepreneur went from a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to a 2 billion dollar sale to Facebook all the way to the covers of Time and Forbes magazines. Calamity struck last September when he revealed to The Daily Beast that he was collaborating and funding a Pro-Trump internet campaign with Milo Yiannopoulos. With this revelation, the technological wunderkind immediately went from being the face of the technology to the mutated thing hidden in Facebook’s attic. His reputation was further tarnished after Zenimax gained a partial win in civil court when Luckey was found liable for breaking a nondisclosure agreement, forcing Facebook to fork over five hundred million dollars to the game publishing giant.
Today, almost a full year after the official launch of the Oculus, Luckey has departed from Facebook. Originally reported by Upload VR, it appears that March 31 will be the beleaguered pariah’s last day at the company, with Facebook declining to comment if he is being kicked out or if he is leaving of his own free will, citing a policy to not discuss personal matters. The most that Upload VR was able to get was:
“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. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.”
Anyone who believes that Palmer got the shaft should remember that he still managed to sell his company to Facebook for two billion dollars. He’s probably going to be okay. It also seems like a good business move on Facebook’s part, if it was Facebook’s decision, as having Palmer’s name on their roster surely wasn’t doing them any favors in their quest to convince people to fork over for the Oculus, when the Vive is available and has some major technological advantages.