A forced escape from social media may seem nice, but it also entails force removal from the Virtual world as well.
Today, a massive event known as Facebook Disconnect 2021 was taking place, and not by choice either. All of Facebook’s service are completely down, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more importantly for us gamers, Oculus VR. On the surface you would think it wouldn’t cause too much trouble. You probably won’t be able to access the store to buy games, but playing your current library, at least offline, should be possible, right?
No. Your entire library is now missing.
It seems like Facebook having their hands in our VR ecosystem is not just annoying, it’s detrimental to the concept of ownership, and playing offline. Even if you own the content, and have already downloaded it, if you connect online but it can’t connect to Facebook, it seems to basically invalidate your entire library, making it impossible to play anything in your library until it can contact Facebook again. The only thing that will remain is anything installed via Sideloading, such as anything in the SideQuest library.
This is by far one of the worst ways I’ve seen DRM handled in an en masse scenario. Other storefronts may have a few games where the developers require always-online DRM, but it isn’t common and is very much frowned upon. But for every storefront I know of; Stream, Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox; they do not run a DRM system where after a restart and internet connection, until it can connect to the storefront servers, it completely prevents you from using the game. For instance, on Nintendo, at worst it will require you to be connected to wifi on any console other than the primary. But at least for the primary console for that account, once downloaded it just works.
The Future of VR
This day is going to be a big one moving forward. It’s helped show just how absolutely locked down the Quest, and really Oculus in general, ecosystem has become since ownership got moved to Facebook. There was discussion about this before, but for a lot of people this will REALLY spark a much more serious discussion, and possibly even legal movements as we see just how much of an impact one company has, especially coming off the heels of the information of 1.5 billion Facebook users being sold on a hacker Forum.
Not to mention the fact that access to the building and rooms within has become difficult as the security badge system has also gone down with everything. It’s hard to say without actually being able to see their setup, but that could also be a legal safety issue.
From here, we could start to see much more pushback from the community against Facebook having such an iron grip on the system. At time of writing, Facebook is just going back up after many hours of being down. And it seems now that being down also hit the stock, as it hit quite a dip over the course of the outage.