Carmack quit id after firm dismissed his VR ambitions

Dev departed for Oculus when management didn't approve of bringing VR to id games

id Software co-founder John Carmack says he left the developer after its owners showed little interest in supporting virtual reality devices in id's upcoming games.

Carmack spoke to USA Today about his departure from a two-decade career with the Doom and Quake developer to join Oculus, the start-up firm behind the Oculus Rift VR headset.


Studio director Tim Willits said at the time of his departure that Carmack had "become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id." Carmack, on the other hand, said he was wanted to bring VR support to Wolfenstein: The New Order and eventually Doom 4.

Carmack proposed the arrangement before signing on as Oculus' chief technology officer in August. But id's owners at ZeniMax Media didn't go for it.

"[Otherwise] I would have been content probably staying there working with the people and technology that I know and the work we were doing," Carmack said.

"But they couldn't come together on that which made me really sad. It was just unfortunate... When it became clear that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id software, I decided to not renew my contract."

Carmack now leads first-party software development efforts at Oculus, though he has offered to continue his traditional QuakeCon keynote in July.