Carmack: Minecraft is ‘critically important’ to VR

Industry veteran and Oculus VR chief tech officer John Carmack has explained the lengths he went to to secure a virtual reality version of Minecraft.

The game was announced by Oculus for Gear VR last night.

Minecraft was my quest, really, for the last year and a half,” Carmack told VentureBeat. Before Gear VR even existed, Minecraft was something I was desperate to get into virtual reality because I thought it would be critically important,” he told VentureBeat.

We had [Minecraft creator Markus Persson] Notch over and we showed him early prototype stuff, and I talked with him about geeky programmer stuff for a long time. We were trying to get into a situation where he would let us try to put the [mobile] game on Gear VR — if it’s great, then we’ll see where we can go from there.”

However, Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus threw a spanner in the works, with Notch publicly criticising the move and cancelling the then in-development VR version of his hit title. Notch eventually got over that,” Carmack added, only to then encounter the potential road block that was Microsoft’s Mojang acquisition.

We signed a contract [with Microsoft] that our lawyers said was terrible. ‘They own everything you do,” Carmack explained. John, you’re basically working for Microsoft when you’re working on this’.

I was willing to do just about anything. On the phone I said that if this doesn’t happen, I’m going to cry. This will just be so terrible. This will be the best thing that we can do for the platform.

I’ve called this my grail. I think it’s the single most important application that we can have to ensure we have an army of fanatic, passionate supporters that will advocate why VR is great. It’s part of this infinite playability that our current ecosystem is missing.”

Regardless, Carmack persisted – and in fact only tied up the final deal in the early hours of yesterday before the game’s announcement last night. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft boss Satys Nadella were both personally involved in finalising the agreement.

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