Despite the hubbub surrounding Facebook’s acquisition of promising virtual reality firm Oculus, Aaron Nicholls becomes the third employee to migrate from PC gaming giant Valve in as many weeks.
Nicholls, who had previously worked on Xbox 360 bestsellers “Gears of War” and “Halo 3,” is reunited with Atman Binstock, now Oculus’s Chief Architect, and Michael Abrash, the team’s Chief Scientist.
“It’s been exciting working on VR at #valve;”Nicholls tweeted, “can’t wait to continue working on the future with Atman, Michael, and the #oculus crew tomorrow.”
Abrash had been a particularly significant hire for Valve, which runs the Steam Network store and PC gaming platform, indicative of serious intentions to explore virtual reality and wearable computing.
Prior to that, he was known for his programming work on 3D action game “Quake,” a pioneering 1996 title that he wrote alongside John Carmack, another ex-colleague who had joined Oculus in August 2013.
And Binstock had joined Valve after being approached by Abrash himself, convinced that the virtual reality dream lay within reach.
So while Valve and Oculus had been working together, the latter’s new R&D lab in Seattle — not far from Valve’s Bellevue base — looks to be the new home for several key minds behind the push for consumer-grade virtual reality tech.