Oculus's official response to Zenimax

by: John -
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Last week, Zenimax claimed that John Carmack's work on Oculus when he was an employee of Zenimax belongs to Zenimax. Zenimax said they tried to reach an agreement with Oculus, but was unable to do so. Of course, a legal battle looks to be brewing over this little tiff between the two now.

John Carmack has gone on Twitter to say that Oculus used zero lines of code while he was an employee of Zenimax and that none of the work he's done has been patented. John left iD Software, owned by Zenimax, because they wouldn't let him work on VR as well as other projects there.

Today, we have an official response from Oculus and this is their only response at this time. 


We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false. 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 after the 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.

Interesting to note that Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG over this. So this looks like it's going to involve many lawyers on both sides as they hash this out. 

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