Things are getting nasty in the legal battle between ZeniMax and Oculus VR, with John Carmack accused of stealing VR tech.

The legal war of words between ZeniMax (the parent copy of Bethesda) and Oculus VR (creators of Oculus Rift, who are now owned by Facebook) has moved up a notch on the sick burns-o-meter, with claims that Oculus’ two main figureheads both stole their ideas from elsewhere.

The complaints against Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey (the one that never wears any shoes) are very specific, insisting that he is not the inventor of Oculus Rift.

‘Luckey increasingly held himself out to the media and the public as the visionary developer of the Rift’s VR Technology, which had actually been developed by ZeniMax without Luckey’s involvement’, claims the lawsuit.

It goes further and claims that Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe, ‘disseminated to the press the false and fanciful story that Luckey was the brilliant inventor of VR technology who had developed that technology in his parents’ garage’.

‘In fact, that story was utterly and completely false: Luckey lacked the training, expertise, resources, or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax’s computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift.’

The accusations against Doom co-creator John Carmack are that he ‘stole’ tech he was working on at id Software (who are owned by Bethesda) and took it with him to Oculus VR. ‘He copied thousands of documents from a computer at ZeniMax to a USB storage device,’ claims the lawsuit.

‘In addition, after Carmack’s employment with ZeniMax was terminated, he returned to ZeniMax’s premises to take a customised tool for developing VR technology belonging to ZeniMax that itself is part of ZeniMax’s VR technology.’


Obviously you’re only seeing ZeniMax’s side of the story here, but these details were just added to the original lawsuit. So it shows they’re not in a forgive and forget mood. They’re also pushing for a jury trial, so this is going to drag on for years. Although what happens to Oculus Rift if ZeniMax wins is not clear…

Palmer Luckey

Palmer Luckey isn’t going to be jumping for joy over this news

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