Swing And A Miss: Oculus’s Attempt To Block Revive App Backfires Badly

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Malzy

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"Hey great, I bought a Vive but I can still buy from the Oculus store use with my Vive"
*a wild update appeared*
"Oh no, these games I bought are unusable now even though I was being a good consumer and purchasing them allowing Oculus to make money while not having to support the experience on a competitors HMD!!"
*enter our hero*
CrossVR: "Don't worry guys, I got this. You can use all the games you bought again, and I speculate any games you didn't, but make sure you still support the company trying to create a walled garden around a budding new tech with a low adopter rate and miniature footprint in the PC world *wink wink*"
 

Jeff Fx

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This article sums up what we've been talking about in r/Vive and r/Oculus pretty well.

I appreciate the developers work, but I choose not to use ReVive, both because I don't want to buy games that the publisher is trying to lock me out of, and because sit-down VR is pretty weak once you've experienced room-scale.
 

computerguy72

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Why Oculus decided to play "Whack a Mole" is beyond me. I was a big supporter of these guys but they have certainly set the record over the last 12 months on bad decisions. Many of the bad decisions just pure stupidity.
 

bit_user

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If Facebook is going to unlock >= $2B of value from Oculus (which is how much they paid for it), it's going to involve some stuff most people won't like. Exclusive content is just the beginning.

I get where PC gamers are coming from. It would suck if most games were tied to arbitrary pieces of hardware, like your monitor, video card, sound card, CPU brand, etc. So, why should a HMD be any different?

The best we can hope for is that this is a phase that will pass. The big game publishers will want to reach as large an audience as possible, especially when that audience is still pretty small. Once the market reaches a size where subsidies aren't necessary, I think they'll probably stop. When the market is big enough, Oculus would have to pay a publisher some amount >= to what they're losing by not having any Vive customers. Eventually, Oculus won't be able to afford that (or justify it, really... Facebook can afford it).
 

wifiburger

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I don't want to sound too negative but Developers trying to create their own ecosystem on the open platform PC is always recipe for disaster,

also people buying specific VR kits is another problem,

I'm not a VR person but I can tell you once sony start churning 100+ games for their VR kit the PC VR will fade into non relevance
 

Morbus

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If Facebook is going to unlock >= $2B of value from Oculus (which is how much they paid for it), it's going to involve some stuff most people won't like. Exclusive content is just the beginning.

I get where PC gamers are coming from. It would suck if most games were tied to arbitrary pieces of hardware, like your monitor, video card, sound card, CPU brand, etc. So, why should a HMD be any different?

The best we can hope for is that this is a phase that will pass. The big game publishers will want to reach as large an audience as possible, especially when that audience is still pretty small. Once the market reaches a size where subsidies aren't necessary, I think they'll probably stop. When the market is big enough, Oculus would have to pay a publisher some amount >= to what they're losing by not having any Vive customers. Eventually, Oculus won't be able to afford that (or justify it, really... Facebook can afford it).
I doubt gaining money is gonna involve pissing people off. Which is what they've been doing all this time. Facebook should sell ASAP or accept the loss of money, but there's absolutely no way this gonna end well for them at this rate.
 

therealduckofdeath

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Am I the only one who thinks Valve is a yuuuge hypocrite here? Remind me again, what Android devices is it possible to buy Valve's games for on the Google Play store?
Exclusives is unfortunately a part of competition, Valve can't pick when it's good and when it's bad to support exclusives. The reality is, Valve and Gabe Newell is frigging annoying when it comes to these questions. It's an atrocity if it goes against Valve (Microsoft, Oculus, etc) it's a necessity if Valve is making money off it.
 

gamebrigada

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Am I the only one who thinks Valve is a yuuuge hypocrite here? Remind me again, what Android devices is it possible to buy Valve's games for on the Google Play store?
Exclusives is unfortunately a part of competition, Valve can't pick when it's good and when it's bad to support exclusives. The reality is, Valve and Gabe Newell is frigging annoying when it comes to these questions. It's an atrocity if it goes against Valve (Microsoft, Oculus, etc) it's a necessity if Valve is making money off it.
The problem isn't them making their games exclusive. The problem is they keep flip flopping on their decision, which makes them soak up profit from people that can't play the game because they keep blocking it. If they made a statement before release saying "Hey, we know you'll try to play our games on your fancy non-oculus HMD, but you shouldn't because we won't allow it" then the complaints wouldn't be huge. The people that are livid are the ones that paid money for games that they can no longer play because Oculus can't get their shit together and make a decision. Their lack of decision came from them not taking their competition seriously, now that they have shat the bed with a competing platform they don't want to make that statement as it is negative PR.

I fully expect them to keep playing whack-a-mole forever to continue making money off suckers that didn't buy their product but bought their exclusive content that they aren't capable of using most of the time. Because it is still profit, and its less negative than making a public statement saying they will refund all games and block all sales to exclusive titles.
 

campbelln

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Am I the only one who thinks Valve is a yuuuge hypocrite here? Remind me again, what Android devices is it possible to buy Valve's games for on the Google Play store?
Exclusives is unfortunately a part of competition, Valve can't pick when it's good and when it's bad to support exclusives. The reality is, Valve and Gabe Newell is frigging annoying when it comes to these questions. It's an atrocity if it goes against Valve (Microsoft, Oculus, etc) it's a necessity if Valve is making money off it.
You want Valve to port their PC games to a mobile platform, and are using that as an example of how they are a walled garden? That doesn't make sense.

They're already available on PC, Mac, and Linux. In fact they have been instrumental in promoting Linux as a viable gaming platform. There are now over a thousand games on Steam compatible with Linux.

Granted, they're on the level of GOG in being completely DRM free, but calling Valve hypocritical compared to what Oculus has been doing lately is completely off mark.
 

therealduckofdeath

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campbelln, You're making a really good example on how terribly bad Valve's own decision to sell exclusives is. I think, little over 10,000 people has bought Half-Life 2 on Android. Because no one knows it exists simply because Valve was greedy and sold the exclusive rights to Nvidia and their Shield devices.
 

bit_user

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Wait, when did they ever say it was okay?

If you have to use a hack to play a game, and the hack gets broken, then why so indignant? Nobody promised it would work. You took that gamble and lost.

Oculus wants to move units. It's not about meager game revenue, at this point - they want your eyeballs in their device.

I'm not apologizing for them. Be mad, if you want. I'm just pointing out that, while this stuff might not be popular, they're really within their right. And I have yet to see how it's contradictory or hypocritical.
 

8R_Scotch

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Wait, when did they ever say it was okay?
Several occasions. Sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. Palmer often makes the case that Occulus would be an open-ish platform. When discussing VR porn he said it wouldn't be sold/promoted on the Oculus store, but wouldn't be blocked. At times he compared the Rift to a monitor, that'd wouldn't pick what could be used with it. Conceptually, the project started as a hardware project to enable VR, not a consumer product with an attached store, like an iPhone... this changed over time.

I won't bother mining all the statements, but Oculus has been rather fippant on these points. Implying or flat out stating something, then when a different set of circumstances pops up, they'll do a 180.

At other times it's just the idealist speech that doesn't materialize, when they sank a ton of money into research and said they'd take the hit to get VR to the masses, when they said that they'd sell the sets for 300-400 USD, then sold it at quite a bit more.

You can't claim to be an open-source kind of company, that's in it for the ideal of VR, that's going to sell at cost or loss and then become Facebook employee that behaves like Apple and expect people to not be annoyed. The PR hit is deserved, so are the DRM circumventions. They could have made money of the software sales in Oculus Home, regardless of the headset, instead they opted to accelerate the existence of piracy in VR... piracy at this stage is dangerous because it's easy, games are expensive, experiences are short and hard to justify sinking lots of money in them and developers need the cash for us to get to truly great games/software.

Piracy would become an issue anyway, but Oculus has precipitated it and given it visibility before the market had a chance to develop more robustly and take the hit. This will be a costly error for the entire VR industry and give developers even more pause in developing for it.
 

alextheblue

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You want Valve to port their PC games to a mobile platform, and are using that as an example of how they are a walled garden? That doesn't make sense.
Here's a better example. I want to play my Steam games without Steam (outside of Steam, if you will). Oh dear I can't. Is that a problem? Not really. Is it a walled garden? Yeah. Just like Origin, Apple, Play Store, et al. Valve is in control of their library. Now they're pushing SteamOS hard, which is very console-like in nature. They're no different than the various console and OS makers.

GOG is better in that regard. But of couse Steam has a lot of advantages too, like great sales. You just have to be aware that Valve is very much in charge of their walled garden Steam platform, not the users.
 

bit_user

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Perhaps you're misinterpreting the term "open platform".

An open platform is one where anyone can provide content. Like MS Windows. The APIs are public. Anyone can build a program and run it on a windows box, without MS' involvement.

It does *not* mean that anything built for Windows will be usable elsewhere. You can try to run it in an emulator, like WINE, but that's not supported and it might not work properly. In fact, if MS patented some aspect of the Windows API and sued any emulators that implemented it, then your program would not be runnable anywhere else, but Windows would still be just as open, because doing this wouldn't restrict access to Windows, itself.

See what I mean?

If you want Open as in Open Source, then use OSVR. Perhaps it could use some more love, with Oculus and HTC/Valve hogging the spotlight, recently. Plus, their HMDs are still only $300. You can even buy them on Newegg (ships from & sold by Newegg, but currently out of stock).
 

Zapin

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Outside of Chronos there was little on the Oculus store that is all that intriguing (sit down experiences limited to standard game controllers) so I never took a chance on Revive knowing that anything I purchase on the Oculus store could be rendered worthless on a whim from Facebook. I may try it now just out of curiosity but I will not buy anything from it (including on my GearVR) until official support for non Rift hardware is implemented by Oculus.
Steam makes money on all the titles they sell whether they are for the Vive, Rift, traditional PC, LInux or Apple. They get their piece of the pie and the developers get theirs. Oculus would be crazy to not use the same model since it is a win win for them and their developers. Store exclusives are fine. If Steam or Oculus invest in the development of a title or make a deal with a developer then I see nothing wrong in making that title a store exclusive as long as it is hardware agnostic so anybody willing to buy the game will be able to do so.
 

Zapin

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Outside of Chronos there was little on the Oculus store that is all that intriguing (sit down experiences limited to standard game controllers) so I never took a chance on Revive knowing that anything I purchase on the Oculus store could be rendered worthless on a whim from Facebook. I may try it now just out of curiosity but I will not buy anything from it (including on my GearVR) until official support for non Rift hardware is implemented by Oculus.
Steam makes money on all the titles they sell whether they are for the Vive, Rift, traditional PC, LInux or Apple. They get their piece of the pie and the developers get theirs. Oculus would be crazy to not use the same model since it is a win win for them and their developers. Store exclusives are fine. If Steam or Oculus invest in the development of a title or make a deal with a developer then I see nothing wrong in making that title a store exclusive as long as it is hardware agnostic so anybody willing to buy the game will be able to do so.
 

Zapin

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Outside of Chronos there was little on the Oculus store that is all that intriguing (sit down experiences limited to standard game controllers) so I never took a chance on Revive knowing that anything I purchase on the Oculus store could be rendered worthless on a whim from Facebook. I may try it now just out of curiosity but I will not buy anything from it (including on my GearVR) until official support for non Rift hardware is implemented by Oculus.
Steam makes money on all the titles they sell whether they are for the Vive, Rift, traditional PC, LInux or Apple. They get their piece of the pie and the developers get theirs. Oculus would be crazy to not use the same model since it is a win win for them and their developers. Store exclusives are fine. If Steam or Oculus invest in the development of a title or make a deal with a developer then I see nothing wrong in making that title a store exclusive as long as it is hardware agnostic so anybody willing to buy the game will be able to do so.
 

takmaze

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Here's a better example. I want to play my Steam games without Steam (outside of Steam, if you will). Oh dear I can't. Is that a problem? Not really. Is it a walled garden? Yeah. Just like Origin, Apple, Play Store, et al. Valve is in control of their library. Now they're pushing SteamOS hard, which is very console-like in nature. They're no different than the various console and OS makers.

GOG is better in that regard. But of couse Steam has a lot of advantages too, like great sales. You just have to be aware that Valve is very much in charge of their walled garden Steam platform, not the users.
Just to point out, the DRM that locks games to requiring Steam to run is optional. Valve don't force games published on Steam to require Steam to be running.

Also where are they pushing Steam Machines "hard" right now? I barely hear anything about them other than the occasional post here and there saying how they're an expensive and inferior option.
 

hfitch

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On one hand I can understand Oculus decision. Yet. I think they should only DRM a game they funded. Meaning yea they spent the money they can lock it down how they want. Yet a developer who puts their game on Oculus store site should be allowed to decide which HMD can play their game. That shouldn't be Oculus decision. Then again Steam has a similar thing though. They allow games bought at other sites to be listed in their software but they receive no updates or anything else from Steam.
 

Schepkens Hendrik

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create a great product make sure you can deliver and you dont have to lock evryone up this is why we are PC gamers. i used to play cracked games because i did not have the money to waste on games i would not play for more than an hour so i bought them after if i liked them. now a days i buy what i know is good and im buying a whole lot less of games!! do not be a console whore just make sure your shit can be used on anny headset and if it is good you will be rewarded.
 

cats_Paw

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Facebook wants more control and exclusivity? Who could have seen that coming?!

Valve, the company that brought you steam, seems to be too much of a threat for Facebook with its pro-consumer (for the most part) orientation.

Clearly the right move from facebook is to do the opposite of what consumers want.
 

cptnjarhead

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Well, we could kind of see this coming. HMD content could be platform specific in the future. And i believe that is a bad idea unless its on a console. But PC gamer's are very fickle. Both Valve and Oculus are in the beginning stages of VR, and a few stumbles are expected, but blocking content on a system that uses the same platform and hardware, ie windows, PC hardware, is a bad idea. Now if they can make stand alone HMD's that are better than the tethered counterparts, well now you can lock content to your specific hardware, but then you're locked in a console cycle. Open platform will win the day in my opinion. We will see.
 

Brandon_29

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VR is new and right now they need to promote it in any way possible. Bad decisions like this may be right 2-3 years from now, but today with VR trying to get off the ground it is a big mistake. Honestly non-room scale games don't interest me after using the Vive. I have tried a few of the sit and play games and they are like crappy 15 year old games that you can look around in. Woo! The room-scale makes VR feel like VR, even though the games still look 15 years old (horrible graphics on most). At least they have the immersion that makes them feel awesome. Now if we can get some big developers to make some non-minecraft looking games in room-scale that would be how VR goes from niche to mainstream. Mechanically it is amazing, but the games right now all look like tech demos where they haven't spent any time refining graphical content (think Wii sports of VR). A few exceptions are out there of course, but the vast majority are this way.
 

Konchu

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I don't know I would say Steam working on nVidia is a fair comparison. There is a lot of fragmentation in Android due to hardware limitations. Aka nVidia make arguably the most powerful android CPU making some xbox 360 level games possible on Shields Tegra X1 processor it would take major rewrites to support everything and to be fair Shield console like approach makes more sense for these games and may be more Steam testing a market out.The Difference with Oculus here is there is not a good reason for it not to work as Libre VR has proven these games can work well. Oculus could easily offer support for Vive, Steam offers support for Oculus after all.
 
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