Aaron Nicholls leaves Valve to join Facebook Oculus VR Team

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Developer Aaron Nicholls left Valve to join the Facebook Oculus VR Team, the official Oculus VR Twitter account said.

The announcement reads, “We’re thrilled to welcome Aaron Nicholls to the team! He’ll be working out of the Bellevue R&D lab with Atman and crew.”

Aaron Nicholls has researched virtual reality with Valve for two (2) years, which includes “a wide range of perceptual and physical considerations necessary for delivering presence in VR.” He joined Valve in 2010 where he worked on design, gameplay and systems and had previously worked as a manager and coder on titles like Gears of War, Halo 3 and Jade Empire. Moreover, Nicholls also worked at Microsoft Studios, prior to joining Valve.

Valve is an entertainment software and technology company founded in 1996. In addition to creating several of the world?s most award-winning games, Valve is also a developer of leading-edge technologies, including the Source? game engine and Steam?, the premier online gaming platform.

As he enters the Facebook Oculus VR Team, Nicholls will be working as a scientist alongside other former Valvers namely Michael Abrash and Atman Binstock.

Noticeably, this announcement of Nicholls joining Facebook Oculus VR Team comes only three days after Valve developer Michael Abrash decided and announced that he will leave for Oculus VR.

Atman Binstock and Michael Abrash for Oculus VR

Facebook Oculus VR first welcomed Atman Binstock to the team. ?Atman was one of the lead engineers and driving forces behind Valve?s VR project, creating the ?VR Room? demo that garnered so much excitement at Steam Dev Days. Prior to Valve, Atman led several projects at top companies in the industry, including RAD, DICE, and Intel.?

In the official announcement, Facebook Oculus VR Team wrote, ?We?re thrilled to introduce Atman Binstock, Oculus? new Chief Architect! Atman and the Valve VR team helped prove simulator sickness could be overcome and a true sense of “presence” could be delivered. He helped set the bar for consumer virtual reality and is dedicated to making sure Oculus delivers the highest quality VR experience.?

Moreover, Michael Abrash who actually recruited Binstock to Valve followed his move.

Abrash in a blog post said, ?I’m tremendously excited to join Oculus, and when I think back, it’s astonishing how unlikely the path to this moment is. I’ve told most of the parts of this story before, but never all together, and the narrative, now spanning twenty years, just keeps getting more remarkable.?

Now both Michael Abrash and Atman Binstock are with Oculus VR Team as Oculus VR’s Chief Scientist and Chief Architect, respectively.

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2-billion just last week and the acquisition was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a public post on his Facebook account.

?I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.

This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.


Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.?

On the other hand, Oculus VR headed by Palmer, Brendan, and John predicted what virtual reality would become years from now and how their partnership with Facebook would change the world of gaming.

?Over the next 10 years, virtual reality will become ubiquitous, affordable, and transformative, and it begins with a truly next-generation gaming experience. This partnership ensures that the Oculus platform is coming, and that it?s going to change gaming forever.? ? Palmer, Brendan, John and the Oculus team

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