Oculus has been in the news quite a lot recently given that it was acquired by Facebook which obviously gave the company’s critics and fans alike something to talk about. Though over the past few days Oculus has been at the center of claims made by its CTO John Carmack’s former employer ZeniMax, the parent company of id Software where popular games like Quake, Rage and Doom were developed. In a statement emailed to Ubergizmo today Oculus says it would like to “clarify a few key points.”
ZeniMax has publicly claimed that the proprietary technology and “know-how” Carmack had developed as a ZeniMax employee, now being used by Oculus, is owned by the company and that this has been agreed to by Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey who further agreed that the technology will not be shared with third-parties without ZeniMax’s approval.
The company claims that Oculus has “used and exploited” its technology and intellectual property without permission, credit or compensation and that their previous attempts to reach an understanding have been failed as Oculus isn’t agreeing to compensate ZeniMax through equity ownership.
In a statement released today Oculus offered a different story. It says that while its not surprised by ZeniMax’s actions it is disappointed nonetheless. Oculus says it will prove that all of ZeniMax’s claims are false.
The company clarifies that Carmack didn’t take any intellectual property from Zenimax and that there is “not a line” of its code or technology in any Oculus product. It also claimed that ZeniMax is misstating the purposes and language of the non-disclosure agreement that Luckey signed. Apparently the reason why Carmack left id Software is because ZeniMax “prevented” him from working on VR, stopped investing in VR games across the company and even killed VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus didn’t meet its demands for a “non-dilutable equity stake.”
Oculus also clarifies that ZeniMax hasn’t identified any stolen code or technology despite the fact that the full source code for Oculus SDK is available online, nor did it pursue any claims against Oculus for IP or technology prior to the Facebook deal. ZeniMax hasn’t commented on these clarifications yet. It hasn’t even filed a suit yet but from its previous statement it seemed clear that ZeniMax isn’t in any mood to let this go easily.