Facebook has announced that it is parting ways with Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey after three years with the company.
According to Oculus, today (Friday) will be Luckey’s last official day with Facebook and issued an official statement that succinctly read:
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.
Tech site UploadVR, which broke the story, asked Facebook as to whether Luckey’s departure was voluntary but the social media giant declined to comment, saying that the company does not discuss "internal personnel matters". However, many suspect that Luckey’s previous actions, which turned him into a controversial figure, had made his position within the company untenable.
Last Summer it emerged that Luckey had been funding an internet trolling group supporting Donald Trump. Since his admission, Luckey largely remained out of the spotlight, only appearing in public to testify in a court case by game publisher Zenimax against Oculus.
Luckey’s legacy will be a mixed one. Though his recent public personna has been riddled with controversy, he was undoubtedly a big reason for the booming VR industry that we see today, and the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus by Facebook showed that. After having such a huge effect on the industry at such a young age (he’s only 24, don’t forget), it’s unlikely that this is the last we have heard of Palmer Luckey and he will no doubt pop up somewhere else at some point in the not-so-distant future.