If gamers, or even casual consumers, weren’t paying attention to Virtual Reality prior to Oculus VR’s sale to Facebook, they certainly were after. The sale was not only a surprise to us who had been covering Oculus and VR’s growth over the past few years, but it also proved that there was some weight to this new technology.
However, with the $2 billion sale also came a lot of unwanted attention for Oculus VR, specifically from game publisher ZeniMax Media. ZeniMax viewed the sale as Oculus profiting from technology they helped develop, and were now looking for compensation.
Just over a month ago, ZeniMax filed a lawsuit against Oculus VR, and shortly thereafter the virtual reality company fired back an informal response. Now that it appears ZeniMax will not drop their case, Oculus has also issued an official response, which you can read in full below.
In their statement, Oculus VR calls the lawsuit “silly” and claims that ZeniMax’s renewed interest in the company only surfaced after the $2B sale to Facebook. Moreover, Oculus continues to allege that there is not a “single line of ZeniMax code” in any of Oculus VR’s products, be it the Crystal Cove (DK2) design or any previous design for the Oculus Rift.
While it appears ZeniMax is not willing to back down from their lawsuit, it doesn’t look as if Oculus will either. So ultimately we will get to the bottom of this issue of VR technology ownership, provided Facebook doesn’t urge Oculus to settle out of court first.
We will also presumably learn a lot more about John Carmack’s tenure at ZeniMax, both before he became a consultant for Oculus and after. In fact, Carmack is at the center of this whole ordeal, as ZeniMax believes Carmack took technology and software developed while at their company and then used it to better the Oculus once he became the full-time CTO. Carmack alleges he did not, but we suppose the court system will be the judge of that.
What do you think the eventual outcome of this lawsuit will be? If ZeniMax does win will it impact your interest in the Oculus Rift?
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