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Michael Abrash leaves Valve for Oculus VR

1:00 PM on 03.28.2014

Jordan Devore

Managing Editor

He wants to create the Metaverse

Following Valve virtual-reality engineer Atman Binstock's departure to work for Oculus VR, another Valve employee, Michael Abrash, has made the jump. He joins the company as its chief scientist.

Abrash wrote a blog post about the 20 years of circumstances that led to him joining up with Oculus VR, going all the way back to his meeting of id Software's John Carmack in the '90s. The two are now working together again, with Carmack serving as CTO of Oculus VR.

"The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday," Abrash wrote. "A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it's engineering, not research; hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach ... And, of course, there's also a huge amount of research to do once we reach the limits of current technology, and that's not only expensive, it also requires time and patience -- fully tapping the potential of VR will take decades.

"That's why I've written before that VR wouldn't become truly great until some company stepped up and invested the considerable capital to build the right hardware -- and that it wouldn't be clear that it made sense to spend that capital until VR was truly great. I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff.

"That worry is now gone," he continued. "Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR -- and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can."

The Path to the Metaverse [Oculus VR]

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