Last week former id Software programmer and founder had very little to say about Facebook acquiring the company he recently joined (save that having some financial backing would help them avoid future scaling issues).
But over the weekend, Carmack responded to a post on the blog of Peter Berkman, detailing why he thinks Oculus VR being owned by Facebook isn't such a bad thing. Carmack sympathizes with fans who wanted Oculus Rift to follow a model similar to what Valve did with Steam, he says that virtual reality is too significant a technology to remain at that level.
"I share some of your misgivings about companies 'existing and operating only to be acquired'. I am a true believer in market economies, and the magic of trade being a positive sum game is most obvious with repeated transactions at a consumer level. Company acquisitions, while still (usually) being a trade between willing parties that in theory leaves both better off, have much more of an element of speculation rather than objective assessment of value, and it definitely feels different.
There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem like Steam from the ground up. This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see. The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state.
VR won't be like that. The experience is too obviously powerful, and it makes converts on contact. The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real questions were how deeply to partner, and with who."
Carmack went on to say in his comments that he has zero personal background with Facebook and was surprised by the deal happening so soon. He added that, while he wasn't involved in the negotiations, he did spend an afternoon talking to Mark Zuckerberg about the technology. A week later he learned that Facebook was buying the company.
You can read another response in the thread from Carmack about information collection here.