John Carmack strikes back, files lawsuit against ZeniMax

Eric Abent - Mar 10, 2017
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John Carmack strikes back, files lawsuit against ZeniMax

It was just last month that the long running lawsuit between ZeniMax Media and Oculus (along with parent company Facebook) reached some kind of resolution, but soon ZeniMax will be heading back to court. This time, Oculus CTO John Carmack is turning the tables and bringing a lawsuit against ZeniMax, claiming that the publishing house still owes him money for the purchase of id Software.

Carmack founded id Software in 1991 along with John Romero, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack. During his time with the studio, he helped create such games as Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake, essentially defining the first person shooter genre for much of the 1990s. In 2009, ZeniMax Media purchased id Software, and now Carmack is claiming that ZeniMax still owes him money from the deal.

Specifically, Carmack is looking for $22.5 million from ZeniMax, which is the final portion of the purchase price that’s supposed to go to him. According to the Dallas Morning News, Carmack claims that ZeniMax withheld that final payment because of “sour grapes” over the Oculus lawsuit, in which ZeniMax claimed that Oculus and Carmack misappropriated trade secrets and broke non-disclosure agreements.

Carmack, as many of you already know, left ZeniMax and id Software in 2013 to become the CTO of Oculus, which was one factor that sparked this lawsuit. In February, ZeniMax was awarded $500 million, with the court finding that while Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey did break non-disclosure agreements, neither he nor Carmack misappropriated trade secrets.

ZeniMax, for its part, tells the Dallas Morning News that the case is “completely without merit,” and pointed out that courts had previously rejected similar claims from Carmack. So, while Oculus is choosing to appeal the ruling from February, it looks like Carmack and ZeniMax will be embroiled in a court battle all their own. We’ll keep an eye on this lawsuit as it develops further, so stay tuned for more.

SOURCE: Dallas Morning News


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