Oculus VP Jason Rubin Responds To Criticism From HTC

Jason Rubin, Vice President of Content at Oculus responded to recent criticism of his company's investment strategy that originated from Joel Breton, HTC Vive’s Vice President of Global Content. Breton was highly critical of the way in which the Facebook-owned virtual reality (VR) company approaches content deals, claiming that Oculus' insistence on only financing Rift exclusives hurts the industry as a whole. Shortly afterwards, Rubin took to Twitter to mock Breton's statement, saying that Oculus is guilty of "spoiling" developers of VR content by investing too much money in the industry and "allowing them to make titles that otherwise wouldn't exist."

Rubin's comment prompted a massive reaction that seemingly polarized both developers and consumers, many of which took online to express their support of both companies and their different approaches to investing in VR. Some developers and other members of the industry who sided with Rubin followed his lead and mocked Breton's criticism of HTC Vive's competitor, while others expressed their support in a more serious manner, claiming their projects wouldn't have existed without Oculus, which is what Fierce Kaiju's Creative Director Paul Kolls said. On the other hand, people who sided with Breton and HTC Vive were pointing out that Rubin's mockery ignores the main context of Breton's criticism - platform exclusives. HTC's executive initially argued that while Oculus' investment strategy is certainly good for the Rift, it doesn't contribute to the VR ecosystem as a whole and is actually doing the opposite. Breton said that developers who decide to accept financial backing from Oculus are trading potential long-term success for a smaller cash injection, which consequently hurts their chances of growing a sustainable VR business, the only type of business that HTC is interested in backing.

Overall, the exchange outlined above isn't likely to affect the short-term state of affairs in the VR industry as it remains to be seen who of Rubin and Breton ends up being correct and if perhaps both strategies turn out to be financially viable. In the meantime, the two companies are also adamant to differ in their approaches to selling VR hardware seeing how Oculus is adamant to drop the Rift's price tag as quickly as possible, while HTC doesn't want to follow suit and says it's confident in the value of its product.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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