Where in the world is Palmer Luckey? Well, he’s not at Facebook.
In 2014, Palmer Luckey, the 24 year-old whiz kid who was one of VR’s most prominent evangelists sold his company, Oculus, to Facebook for a cool £1.6 billion in 2014. He has (almost) totally disappeared after The Daily Beast revealed last year he was collaborating with Milo Yiannopoulos to fund a pro-Trump “shitposting” operation.
Here’s a statement from Facebook first reported by UploadVR and later confirmed to Gizmodo by Facebook PR:
“Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.”
Palmer recently testified in an intellectual property lawsuit that alleged he was complicit in the theft of trade secrets from ZeniMax. Facebook was ordered to pay ZeniMax £400 million, and is currently appealing the ruling. The lawsuit questioned Luckey and Oculus’s origin story- that Luckey built the Oculus in his parent’s garage - and said that Oculus used technology built by former a ZeniMax employee who is now CTO at Oculus, John Carmack.
Luckey’s fall from grace has been slow and painful. He was featured on the cover of Time following his big sale to Facebook, but in the time since he’s completely disappeared. The only public appearance he’s since the revelation of his meme powered political group was in a Federal courtroom in Dallas, Texas to testify for the ZeniMax lawsuit.