The global outage that occurred yesterday as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went offline also had a side effect on oculus and other gaming services.
Were you hoping to use Occulus VR during this time, did you try to log on to Facebook gaming, both of which require a Facebook account to access, well they were now down as well. Mark Zuckerburg’s media empire is far more expansive than much first thought.
The Gaming Outage
The big how in the gaming world are the Oculus Quest VR headsets. Since buying Oculus last year, Facebook has fully integrated the VR gaming device with their platform, you cannot access your Oculus games if you don’t have a Facebook account. You also can’t access your games without first login on into a Facebook account so when Facebook went down you had a lot of unhappy gamers unable to play their favorite virtual reality games because they could not get into their Facebook accounts.
In response, Oculus has to have a fairly standard PR response on Twitter, a platform that is likely pretty pleased on watching its competition flounder for a night, stating what amounts to “we know and we’re working on the issue”.
We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
— Oculus (@oculus) October 4, 2021
Oculus, however, isn’t the only one who is reeling however, there are several large games that require a Facebook account to access including Pokemon Go had to shut down because of their attachment to Facebook. Likewise, Genshin Impact players also had trouble logging into accounts that were made through Facebook.
We’re looking into reports of errors associated with Facebook login, and will update here once we have more information. We apologize for any inconvenience caused, thanks for your understanding.
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) October 4, 2021
What Actually Happened to Cause The Facebook Outage
Facebook has since given an apology and the site has returned to normal although their stock did take a plummet. As for the reason this incident happened, Guardian Technology Editor, Alex Hern on Twitter explained that Facebook likely accidentally sent a deep-level routing protocol on the internet that said something along the lines of “we don’t have any servers anymore xoxo”.
This would usually not be a problem however because Facebook runs all of their protocols through Facebook, when the servers got booted of the net, they booted of the ability to send a counter protocol, or access the various log-in systems to help put it back online.
The Effects of the Outage
While this strange episode may be over it does bring to attention the alarming amount of other services attached to Facebook that like oculus, be affected by such an outage.
Facebook’s domain is so deeply integrated into their services that apparently their own employees couldn’t even get into conference rooms or doors because those required facebook logins as well.
Don’t yet know exactly what’s behind the DNS issue that’s knocked Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp offline, but it’s really bad. Pretty much everything that runs through those three companies are inaccessible. Employees can’t even enter conference rooms because they’re IoT!
— Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) October 4, 2021
Was just on phone with someone who works for FB who described employees unable to enter buildings this morning to begin to evaluate extent of outage because their badges weren’t working to access doors.
— Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) October 4, 2021
Malaysia is currently one of the fastest-growing regions for Facebook Gaming and if they wish to enter into the gaming industry, making sure that servers are accessible without a Facebook login would be a good place to start. People need something to do while Facebook is down anyway.