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Facebook is retiring the Oculus brand after all

Yes, it's technically "Meta" doing the retiring but they just changed the name we need a second to adapt.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

October 28, 2021

2 Min Read
Image by Minh Pham via Unsplash

In the future, you won't be referring to your Facebook (now "Meta")-branded VR devices as "Oculus" devices. That's because as part of today's big name change announcement, the company formerly known as Facebook announced it's sunsetting the Oculus brand.

The news was confirmed by chief technical officer Andrew Bosworth. The Oculus brand will begin slipping away in 2022, with the Oculus Quest becoming the Meta Quest, the Oculus App will become the Meta Quest App, and so on.

Facebook had said as recently as a year ago that it had no intention of sunsetting the Oculus brand name, but that has obviously changed. 

User attachment to brand names is apparently what's at the top of Mark Zuckerburg's mind, so it's notable to see the company do away with one of the brand names most synonymous with virtual reality. "While we’re retiring the name, I can assure you that the original Oculus vision remains deeply embedded in how Meta will continue to drive mass adoption for VR today," Bosworth wrote in his statement.

Meta's new "Horizon" branding will also be coming to certain formerly Oculus products. Bosworth writes that the company is positioning Meta Horizon as "the brand that will encompass all of our first-party immersive social experiences."

It's a quiet end for the Oculus name, which took the video game world by storm in 2012 with a surprisingly successful Kickstarter campaign that promised groundbreaking new technology. 

The technology turned out pretty well, but along the way, Oculus was sued by Zenimax, its founder was condemned by VR developers for funding a right-wing troll army, and it drew fire for requiring Facebook logins to use its VR headsets.

Bosworth and the team at Meta do seem to be interested in addressing that last pain point. Much of the messaging in today's announcement includes overtures toward developers who don't want to have to use Facebook, but want to work on Meta VR devices.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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