Facebook on Thursday confirmed that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey is out of the company. Luckey, the mind which helped kickstart the VR craze with a prototype headset that he built in his parents' garage, has quit the company after a year of launching the consumer version of Oculus Rift in 2016. Although, in this one year, the company also witnessed a number of lawsuits and scandals, reported TechCrunch.
The news of Luckey's departure was first spotted by UploadVR.
"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," the company said in an official statement, reported the publication.
When asked by UploadVR whether Luckey's departure was voluntary Facebook declined to comment stating a policy of not disclosing internal personal matters.
In his last publics statement on Facebook on 24 September 2016, Luckey expressed regrets and defense.
A part of the post read: "I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners. The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views... my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I'm sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community."
This apology came following a story by The Daily Beast reporters Gideon Resnick and Ben Collins that linked Palmer Luckey to a far-right political group named Nimble America that used inflammatory online tactics to discourage the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. The story alleged that Luckey donated significant funds to Nimble America.
Two weeks after Luckey's final post on Facebook Oculus help its thirds Oculus Connect (OC3) developer conference. While Luckey was a prominent face in OC1 and OC2, in OC3 Mar Zuckerberg took to the stage instead of the co-founder of Oculus, reported UploadVR.
Oculus' VP of content, Jason Rubin, told UploadVR at the time Luckey willfully skipped the conference because he "did not want to be a distraction" and that he was still an employee of Facebook.
In January 2017 software company Zenimax sued Oculus and Facebook over allegations of stealing intellectual property from the software company which was fundamental in building the Rift. Luckey was called as a witness alongside the Facebook founder.
Finally on February 1, the jury found Oculus had not misappropriated any trade secret, however, it also decided that Luckey couldn't comply with a non-disclosure agreement he signed and to compensate that Oculus co-founders Luckey and Iribe were ordered to pay $500 million to Zenimax as a result of copyright infringement and "false designation." Facebook has already vowed to appeal this case. But for Luckey, as we can see, it didn't turn out to be any better.
The Daily Beast report essentially started the downfall for the 24-years-old visionary Palmer Lucky, who revolutionized the VR industry.
"A lot of things we're doing weren't invented by us," Palmer Luckey once said. "They were invented by other people. And we happen to have the luck to be in the right decade to make it happen."