Last week it was revealed that ZeniMax wants to take legal action against Oculus as it believes that it had a huge part to play in the company’s success thanks to John Carmack’s early efforts, which led to people getting excited about Virtual Reality again before Palmer Luckey launched the Oculus Kickstarter.
There is some cause for concern as it has come to light that Luckey did sign some form of non ownership agreement with ZeniMax over some kind of VR tech but now, with Facebook’s backing, Oculus is ready to take on any accusations and prove that ZeniMax don’t own VR:
“We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false. It’s unfortunate, but when there’s this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims. We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent.”
Two of Oculus’s key points against the previous employer of John Carmack include:
- There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products.
- 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.
The company also points out that one of the key reasons John Carmack left his former studio last year was due to Zenimax’s lack of interest in pursuing VR, making it seem like the company just wants to grab some cash now that Oculus has been acquired by Facebook. ZeniMax even went as far as to cancel a virtual reality version of Doom 3 because Oculus wouldn’t give in to the company’s equity demands: “Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.”
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KitGuru Says: There is no ZeniMax code included in the Oculus Rift SDK and the company apparently wasn’t interested in VR until after Oculus was bought by Facebook. We will have to wait and see where this goes but many gamers will likely be hoping that Zenimax has no case.