The popularity of the first commercially available Oculus Rift is no secret, and the rush of orders for the virtual reality headset unsurprisingly proved difficult for the young company to manage. Though the first sets were to be delivered March 28, only a few actually arrived, and most were subject to a two-month delay that the company announced on April 14. While Oculus Rift is beating some of its predicted shipping expectations, founder Palmer Luckey has nonetheless been spending much of his time beating down the bad publicity.
Reddit’s /r/Oculus has become a home for a great deal of discussion and criticism of the headset and its management. Luckey is known to drop in every once a while and renown for his often polarizing comments. Scrolling through his history is like wading through a Reddit battleground, full of gilded comments with 100 down votes as well as plenty of positive contributions. The recent round of Oculus delays has been causing a storm across the subreddit, but Luckey should have known that tweets claiming he preferred supply shortages to surpluses would only provoke the beast.
Once the tweet was posted to the subreddit, Luckey felt the need to chime in and not hold back.
Unsurprisingly, the users of /r/Oculus were largely unhappy with Luckey’s unwillingness to take responsibility for the production delays, accusing him of engaging in corporate pr-speak and simply being kind of a douche bag. One user found Luckey’s use of the Pepperidge Farms meme particularly obnoxious and decided it to throw it back in his face. User randomawesome found a lot of ammunition and unloaded.
In response, a different user, Heaney555, uploaded a point-by-point rebuke of all of the claims of randomawesome. Luckey rewarded Heaney555, a prominent fanboy for Oculus on Reddit, with some sage, if almost incomprehensible words of wisdom.
Luckey has long been treated like one of technology’s chosen few, but his difficulty rallying support on a subreddit devoted to his own product may bode ill for his future popularity. There is clearly some simmering tension within the community, and that’s before any of Oculus’ major competitors have released their headsets. If these users are not totally amazed by the headsets once they actually arrive, there appears little excessive good will toward Luckey or the company that would keep them from switching to a competing VR brand (once one actually starts shipping).
Or this is just Reddit being Reddit, and it will soon get over itself. Luckey may even consider himself lucky (yes, we know). At least, /r/politics didn’t catch wind of who his date to the Season 3 premiere of Silicon Valley supports for president!