Image: Meta / Oculus
The upcoming Meta Connect may break with an old tradition and take place without a talk by John Carmack.
The legendary game developer himself hinted at this on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. When asked if there would be a chance to hear him speak at this Meta Connect, Carmack replied:
“My unscripted talks that didn’t toe the party line were no longer welcome on the big stage. I may still write some VR posts, and
@boztank would probably have me back on his podcast for a review.”
My unscripted talks that didn’t toe the party line were no longer welcome on the big stage. I may still write some VR posts, and @boztank would probably have me back on his podcast for a review.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) August 26, 2023
Carmack spoke with Meta’s CTO Andrew “Boztank” Bosworth in the spring, and on that occasion again criticized Meta’s VR approach.
Carmack had been Oculus CTO since 2013. In 2019, he turned his attention to AI and has only served as a consulting CTO one day a week since then. In late 2022, Carmack left Meta for good. He cited a lack of efficiency and his powerlessness to do anything about it.
A great loss for Meta
Carmack had been giving talks on the state of the industry and technology since the first Oculus Connect in 2014. His eloquence and honesty made the talks an annual highlight for VR enthusiasts.
In recent years, Carmack, who was instrumental in the creation and success of Meta Quest, has become increasingly critical of his Meta’s approach to VR.
“He is someone who reliably has great ideas, pushes hard for doing the right thing, always looking at near-term value,” Bosworth said after Carmack’s departure. “We did have disagreements. There’s many pieces of work that I really believe in, that John I think believed in, but thought we shouldn’t do them yet, we should wait, we should do something differently, in different sequence.”
For Meta Connect and virtual reality in general, the departure of the VR visionary Carmack is a great loss. Hopefully, his voice will remain with the VR industry in other ways.
Meta Connect 2023 will be held online and at Meta Headquarters in Menlo Park, California on September 27 and 28.
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