Oculus VR vs ZeniMax

An ongoing conflict between Oculus VR and ZeniMax has recently aggravated. Oculus VR has finally officially responded to the accusations from ZeniMax regarding the intellectual property rights to the Rift VR technology. ZeniMax claims that John Carmack has stolen the most important information and passed it to Oculus when still working for ZeniMax.

John Carmack has contributed greatly to the development of such legendary computer games as Quake, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. He accepted an offer to became a chief technical officer in Oculus VR in August 2013. Carmack convinces he has officially resigned from ZeniMax and rejects all the accusations.

Oculus responded in a polite way via e-mail expressing its disappointment by ZeniMax’s behavior and promised to do everything possible to prove the falseness of such wrongful accusations. To confirm the groundlessness of the claims Oculus represented a list of facts that might shed some light to the complicated situation. Here are some of them.


  • Oculus doesn’t use any ZeniMax technology in any of its products.
  • Carmack hasn’t brought a piece of intellectual property from ZeniMax to Oculus.
  • Carmack left ZeniMax because the management of the company hasn’t paid enough attention to VR games and prevented him from developing VR technologies.
  • When Oculus refused to provide ZeniMax with a non-dilutable equity share the latter has stopped VR support for Doom 3 BFG.
  • Zenimax hasn’t pursued claims concerning intellectual property against Oculus neither has it developed any technology jointly with Oculus. The claims were made only after a deal with Facebook was completed.
  • Although an Oculus SDK code can be found online (developer.oculusvr.com) ZeniMax has never made attempts to reveal any stolen fragments.There are signs that this tension has a potential to escalate since both sides express readiness to prove their rightness.