This man might be wearing a crime scene on his face.
Last year John Carmack, co-creator of Doom and co-founded of Id Software, left Id for for Oculus VR, the new company behind the Oculus Rift VR headset. Oculus VR was, of course, recently purchased by Facebook for an eye-popping (see what I did there?) 2.3 billion dollars.
Well, it seems as if ZeniMax Media (the parent company of Id Software) wants some of that sweet, sweet Oculus money, because late last week they accused John Carmack of using proprietary technology he developed while at Id Software to help create the Oculus Rift. Here’s ZeniMax’s take…
“It was only through the concerted efforts of Mr. Carmack, using technology developed over many years at, and owned by, ZeniMax, that Mr. Luckey was able to transform his garage-based pipe dream into a working reality.”
Today the Oculus folks fired back, saying they were “disappointed but not surprised by ZeniMax’s actions.” Oculus denies Carmack took any intellectual property from Zenimax, and dropped this interesting tidbit…
“A key reason that John permanently left Zenimax in August of 2013 was that Zenimax prevented John from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company.”
So, it sounds like Carmack was working on a VR headset while working for ZeniMax, but Oculus is taking the, “f–k you, you can’t own the general idea of a VR headset” position, which seems reasonable to me. I have a feeling this won’t be the last legal issue Oculus faces — 2 billion in loose cash tends to cause conflict.