It’s official. Starting this October, a Facebook account will be mandatory for all future Oculus headsets. While there’ll be a grace period for anyone with a separate Oculus account, Facebook will end support for those on January 1, 2023.
The decision was announced today on both Oculus’s Twitter and in a press release. The gist of it is anyone who is new to an Oculus device after October must log in with a Facebook account. At that time, existing Oculus users will have the option of merging their Facebook and Oculus accounts. Anyone who doesn’t merge will have two years before their Oculus accounts are kaput. The devices will technically still work, but “full functionality will require a Facebook account.”
Notably, all future, unreleased Oculus devices will also require a Facebook account, regardless of whether you already have an Oculus account. This is perhaps a reference to the rumored successor to the Oculus Quest, which leaks suggest may launch as early as September 15.
What about things you already purchased on your Oculus account? Well, Facebook says it will “take steps” to allow folks to keep the things they’ve already bought but it “expect[s] some games and apps may no longer work,” hinting that developers may decide to include features that require a Facebook account or just stop supporting the app or game in question.
As you might imagine, the replies to Oculus’s announcement on Twitter are less than kind. In a few instances, users cried foul, pointing to a promise from founder Palmer Luckey when Facebook acquired Oculus that people wouldn’t need to log into Facebook when they wanted to use the Oculus Rift. While the move is painted as a means of streamlining the VR experience by “giving people a single way to log in,” it’s also a blatant attempt at forcing people onto Facebook’s platform so it can get your sweet, sweet data.
This has been coming for some time. Last year, the Oculus platform got a boatload of social features that no one asked for. It required a Facebook login to work and introduced an element of data harvesting for targeted ads.