Following the news that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was behind a pro-Donald Trump NPO, one developer has already distanced themselves from the Oculus Rift.
Polytron Games, headed up by Fez creator Phil Fish, has released an official statement condemning Luckey’s action. In addition to this, they have decided to not pursue an Oculus Rift release for SUPERHYPERCUBE, their upcoming VR title.
“You may have seen the news yesterday that ties Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey to Nimble America, a Trump-endorsing organization Luckey started to defame Clinton via “the power of Internet memes,” the statement reads. “In a political climate as fragile and horrifying as this one, we cannot tacitly endorse these actions by supporting Luckey or his platform. In light of this, we will not be pursuing Oculus support for our upcoming VR release, SUPERHYPERCUBE.”
Polytron went one step further. Without officially endorsing a candidate, the developer did issue a de facto condemnation of Trump and his supporters. “If you are a voting citizen of the United States, please remember to register and make your voice heard this November 8th. Do not let bigotry, white supremacy, hate and fear win.”
Neither Luckey nor Oculus have issued an official response, but one could expect that we’ll hear one at some point in the near future.
This move makes a lot of sense on Polytron’s part. It’s also a bold political statement, as poking the 2016 election hornet’s nest online is a messy affair across the board. Yet it’s something we are bound to see more of in the coming days, considering the divisive nature of Trump’s campaign and supporters. Many developers would rather not have their titles affiliated with that in any capacity.
One wonders if this will go to a corporate level, with larger game companies boycotting Oculus based on these recent developments. Only time will tell.