Oculus VR Responds to Zenimax's Claims of IP Theft: "Nope."

By Published May 05, 2014 at 2:18 pm
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Game industry visionary John Carmack, one of the founding developers of id Software, recent departed ZeniMax to work for Oculus VR on the Rift and other technology. Carmack's primary stated reason for his departure was a lack of support and interest on part of Zenimax in virtual reality technology. Last week, ZeniMax alleged that Carmack brought over internally-developed tech to the rising virtual reality giant, Oculus VR, recently acquired by Facebook.

ZeniMax stated: "ZeniMax provided necessary VR technology and other valuable assistance to Palmer Lucky [CEO, Oculus VR] and other Oculus employees," ZeniMax further stated "the proprietary technology and know-how Mr. Carmack developed when he was a ZeniMax employee, and used by Oculus, are owned by ZeniMax."

This statement comes after a previous disagreement between the two companies, when ZeniMax demanded a non-dilutable equity stake in the VR company in exchange for VR support in Doom 3 BFG. As if that's somehow a bargaining chip.

Oculus VR issued a statement to the press today refuting all of ZeniMax's claims; one of the key points made by the statement was that, despite Oculus' SDK source code being freely accessible, ZeniMax "has never identified any 'stolen' code or technology." Oculus further refuted claims of IP theft on behalf of Carmack, firmly saying:

"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."

The company then made a few more points:

"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.

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."

And so the VR battle is heating up. With the Facebook acquisition, we see increased interest in Oculus VR given the inherent validation granted in the form of the purchase. We have reached out to Zenimax for further comment. If you're interested in virtual reality, we would suggest reading our other recent articles:

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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