John Carmack’s former employer ZeniMax Media has reportedly accused the industry veteran of improperly providing the firm’s technology to Oculus VR.
Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal reveal ZeniMax’s claim that the virtual reality headset maker’s success is directly attributable to the technology developed at id Software.
A unidentified source told WSJ that the dispute’s origins go back to early 2012, when Carmack allegedly contacted Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and received a prototype VR headset from him to evaluate.
ZeniMax claims Carmack contributed software to an early prototype that severed as the template for the Oculus Rift headset – which raised $2.4m during a $250k Kickstarter campaign in September 2012. Carmack would leave id to join Oculus VR as its CTO a year later.
"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," an April 18 letter from ZeniMax to Oculus’ lawyers and Facebook’s general counsel read.
According to the source, Zenimax has been seeking compensation from Oculus since August 2012.