Feeds

Oculus rips ZeniMax over claims of Carmack foul play

Firm categorically denies accusations of IP theft

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Facebook-owned virtual reality house Oculus VR is hitting back over claims that the firm hired away id Software's John Carmack in order to swipe intellectual property from parent company ZeniMax.

In a statement provided to El Reg on Monday, Oculus issued a point-by-point denial of the claims that Carmack defected from id with a suitcase full of ZeniMax trade secrets.

"We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax's actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false," Oculus VR said by way of a spokesperson.

Furthermore, the company is circulating a bullet list of denials regarding specific claims leveled by the parent company of famed game houses id and Bethesda Softworks. Oculus levels the following arguments:

  • 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, Zenimax has never identified any "stolen" code or technology.

The rebuttal comes amidst speculation that ZeniMax, which purchased id in 2009, is looking to extract intellectual property fees from an Oculus firm that recently sold to Facebook for $2bn.

Prior to the deal with Facebook, Oculus' biggest transaction was the hiring of Carmack away from id. The deal brought the Doom creator along with a fresh helping of buzz to a company that, at the time, drew its funding from a Kickstarter campaign.

ZeniMax has yet to respond to a request for comment on the Oculus statement. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.