Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey is leaving the company

With the HTC Vive trouncing the Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey's departure raises new questions about Facebook's VR division. That spurred Facebook's purchase of Oculus for almost $3 billion in 2014. The Oculus co-founder, who helped kick start the recent VR with a prototype headset built in his parents garage, has left its parent company.

"Palmer will be dearly missed", it reads. Facebook and Luckey are not sharing the details of the split, but it comes after months of silence from what the social network once positioned as the father of VR. "Palmer's legacy extends far beyond Oculus", Oculus said in a statement. "I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners", he wrote on Facebook in September.

The spokesperson confirmed that this is Luckey's last week at Oculus but declined to confirm if he was sacked or left voluntarily. "We're thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best", a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.

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Because of the negative attention, Luckey skipped the third annual Oculus Connect conference two weeks later, and kept a low profile until the court proceedings earlier this year.

Luckey did testify in January during a trial for a suit ZeniMax Media brought against Oculus over whether he had stolen ZeniMax IP to develop Oculus. It looks like someone-executives at Oculus, Facebook, or Luckey himself-saw fit to make the separation permanent.

  • Desiree Holland