Oculus VR has responded to claims from ZeniMax Media that former employee John Carmack took company-owned virtual reality (VR) code with him to his current position as Oculus VR’s Chief Technology Officer. The company stated in an email that Carmack did not take any intellectual propety (IP) from ZeniMax Media and noted that these claims had only been made after the announcement of a $2 billion USD buyout of Oculus VR to Facebook. The company also revealed that ZeniMax Media had cancelled VR support in id Software’s DOOM 3 BFG after ‘Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.’
The response was issued via email to freelance videogame writer Dan Griliopoulos and obtained by VRFocus. “We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false,” the email read. “In the meantime, we would like to clarify a few key points:
– There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products.
– John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from Zenimax.
– Zenimax has misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed.
– 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.
– Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.
– Zenimax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, Zenimax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only afterthe Facebook deal was announced has Zenimax now made these claims through its lawyers.
– Despite the fact that the full source code for the Oculus SDK is available online (developer.oculusvr.com), Zenimax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.”
John Carmack himself issued a response on Twitter soon after the claims were first made, further stressing that he had not taken any ZeniMax Media-owned IP. It’s unclear what action will be taken from here on out; the ball is seemingly in ZeniMax Media’s court. VRFocus will continue to follow the situation and report back with all the latest.