Oculus Rift is coming closer to reality with an ex-Activision exec on board.
Virtual reality for video games received another boost as Oculus VR, Inc. (Oculus), a developer of virtual reality technology, has hired Laird M. Malamed as chief operating officer. Prior to joining Oculus, Malamed served as the senior vice president and head of development at Activision Blizzard where he oversaw the production on blockbuster properties such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Skylanders, and earned a reputation for successfully delivering high-quality consumer gaming hardware and AAA software into the hands of gamers.
“The opportunity to join Oculus and build the future of virtual reality gaming was too exciting to pass up,” said Laird Malamed, COO of Oculus. “I look forward to being part of the team, creating a completely new medium for the video game industry and its many potential applications for the future.”
Malamed earned a joint BS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering and Film & Media Studies. He attended the Graduate School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California, where he is currently an adjunct professor in the Interactive Media Division.
“With 18 years in the video game industry, Laird brings a wealth of expertise in producing some of the industry’s biggest and most successful brands and shipping them to market. Laird’s insights will be instrumental in helping Oculus through its accelerated growth as we approach the launch of the Oculus Rift. We are thrilled to have him,” said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus.
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that allows users to step into the game. It provides an immersive, stereoscopic 3-D experience with a huge field of view—110 degrees diagonally—and overcomes the latency problems that have plagued previous VR gaming headsets, where movement in the game lags behind movement of the player’s head. Developer kits for the Oculus Rift, which game developers can use to create Oculus-ready games and interactive content, will be available in Q1 2013.
Oculus VR is a technology company revolutionizing the way people experience video games. The company’s first product, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset designed for immersive gaming, is currently in development. Developer kits for the Oculus Rift are set to ship in March 2013. The company was founded by Palmer Luckey along with veterans of RedOctane, developers of the acclaimed Guitar Hero series; Scaleform, the leading user interface middleware in the game industry; and Gaikai, the cloud gaming start-up recently acquired by Sony.