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Oculus: Zenimax axed Carmack's Doom 3 VR project

Bethesda publisher wanted stake in the Facebook-owned company, legal team claims

Zenimax Media forbid former employee John Carmack from working on virtual reality projects and cancelled VR support for Doom 3, according to new claims issued by Oculus VR.

Carmack joined Oculus VR in August 2013

The allegationscome as retaliation to Zenimax's opening legal dispute against the VR company.

In early May, Zenimax began legal action against Oculus pertaining to a period in 2013 when Carmack technically worked for both companies, as well as his recent departure from Zenimax to work at Oculus full-time.

It alleged that when Carmack moved to Oculus, he took undisclosed trade secrets with him.

Zenimax, which acquired Carmack's firm Id Software in 2009 for what is believed to be over $100 million, claims that Carmack went on to use such trade secrets at Oculus without permission or compensation.

The legal dispute is complicated further by Facebook's $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR, a move which will inevitably increase Zenimax's evaluation of how much the company is owed.

Now, representatives for Oculus VR say "Zenimax prevented Carmack from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company".

It adds that Carmack left Zenimax permanently in August 2013, three months earlier than initially believed.

On August 7, the seasoned programmer had suggested on his public Twitter account that he was working at both companies.

"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," Oculus claims.

And in a move which will likely worsen relations between both companies, Oculus claims Zenimax terminated VR support for one of Carmack's games after attempting to purchase a stake in the company.

"Zenimax cancelled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax's demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus," the notice reads.

The Facebook-owned company goes on to state "we are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax's actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false".

Both parties deny allegations put to them.


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