On the heels of the renown Facebook acquisition, another Valve employee has traded in their Steam power for a shiny new Oculus eyepiece.
Shortly after acquiring Michael Abrash and Atman Binstock–both of whom crossed over to the Oculus banner to respectively become the firm’s chief scientist and architect–yet another ex-Valve-ian has jumped from the Steam-powered ship: Aaron Nicholls.
We’re thrilled to welcome Aaron Nicholls (@aaronhelloworld) to the team! He’ll be working out of the Bellevue R&D lab with Atman and crew.
— Oculus (@oculus) March 31, 2014
While working for Valve, Nicholls spent “two years working researching and implementing VR tech” which makes him a particular asset for Oculus. With their newly acquired Facebook cash, the VR pioneers will no-doubt fill out their ranks with key proponents within the field, possibly cherry-picking more employees currently fabricating Valve’s own VR hardware.
Despite the backlash in the gaming sphere, CTO John Carmack defended the acquisition by Facebook, citing that the company “sees the big picture” in VR.
When we focus the spotlight back on Nicholls, we find that he’s had a checkered career in software development. The dev had a hand in crafting games like Halo 3 and Gears of War 3 while working for Microsoft Game Studios, making him a unique fount of potential for Oculus’ gaming support.
It will be interesting to see if any more Valve employees cross the border to the now-Facebook-owned company, and how the piston-powered gaming giant competes in terms of their own VR hardware. So far the Oculus roster is peppered with key industry figures (such as ex-id Software alum John Carmack), and as time goes by we’ll likely see a few more join their ranks.