Following news that social networking company Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion in cash and stock, Star Citizen creator Chris Roberts placated fans that developer Cloud Imperium has no interest in being acquired by another company.
"Now to answer the myriad forum threads that popped up worrying about the possibility of Cloud Imperium being acquired by another, bigger company - don't worry!" he wrote on the company's website. "We have no plans nor interest in following this path! We don't need to go to anyone with deep pockets to make OUR dream a reality.
"To mass-produce hardware like the Rift, you need an outlay of hundreds of millions of dollars," he wrote. "Luckily our ships are digital so we have hardly any cost of goods, just the cost of developing the universe of Star Citizen and running servers that Star Citizen's universe will be simulated on. Thanks to the generosity of the Star Citizen community we have these two things covered."
Roberts added that he is "having way too much fun building the universe of my dreams" for fans and his previous two experiences with large company acquisitions attribute to his reasons for developing Star Citizen independently.
While Roberts was surprised by the Oculus Rift VR acquisition and acknowledges "some notable people have come out for and against," he supports the deal. He believes that it is a great benefit to the Rift, allowing Oculus to deliver a competitively priced consumer headset "at the scale needed for mass market adoption without the loss of the incredible passion that convinced me to back the project."
"I know a lot of backers and gamers feel like they've been betrayed by Oculus "selling out". I'm not one of them. Why?" Roberts wrote. "From the moment I first saw the Rift, I knew it was something special. I can tell you firsthand that the team behind the headset has a true passion for making VR tomorrow's standard.
"In order for the Rift to succeed, it really needed a lot more funding than it has raised from its past two VC rounds. Hardware is expensive: it's one thing to perfect the technology, but before you can sell a single Rift, you need to spend hundreds of millions on manufacturing and building a supply chain if you intend to make the Rift (and Virtual Reality) relevant for the mass market. Microsoft invested well over a billion dollars just to launch the Xbox One this fall!"
Cloud Imperium's space combat and exploration sim Star Citizen recently surpassed $41 million in funding, the latest stretch goal's funding will be allocated to developing procedural generation technology for future iterations of the game.