It is a scenario that few people will be surprised about. An eventuality which was feared from the beginning, now come to pass. Existing users of the Oculus VR system will be required to use Facebook logins to make use of the equipment starting January 1 of 2023. Any first-time users of the system will be required to log into Facebook beginning October 20.
A tweet thread on the Oculus feed laid out the reasoning for this move, as well as the roadmap for users who decline to merge their Oculus account with their Facebook account. "After January 1, 2023, we will end support for Oculus accounts. If you choose not to merge your accounts at that time, you can continue using your device, but full functionality will require a Facebook account," they wrote.
Today, we’re announcing some important updates to how people log into Oculus devices, while still keeping their VR profile. Starting in October 2020, everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account. // https://t.co/SMeDOXgehN
— Oculus (@oculus) August 18, 2020
Oculus claims that this move is being made to streamline social connectivity, stating, "Giving people a single way to log into Oculus—using their Facebook account and password— will make it easier to find, connect, and play with friends in VR." However, the thread naturally does not go into any detail over concerns users may have about how Facebook handles their personal data once the account merge is complete. A post on the Oculus blog goes into further details, reassuring users that they can choose not to post their VR activity to Facebook. Such assurances might be more convincing if they hadn't been previously assured a Facebook login wouldn't be required to use the equipment.
The Twitter thread and the blog post have already received strong resistance to the move. Penny Arcade artist Mike "Gabe" Krahulik tweeted that he would be dropping the system come October. Some have pointed out that the move was inevitable, given Facebook's ownership of Oculus, but others believe that it is entirely unnecessary. Other commenters have indicated that this particular move has ensured they will not be buying an Oculus, but rather looking into alternatives such as the HTC Vive.