After making legal threats earlier this month, ZeniMax Media — the parent company of game publisher Bethesda — has filed suit against Oculus, saying the maker of the anticipated virtual reality Rift headset illegally used software developed by the game maker to create the device.
Carmack’s former employer is accusing the now-CTO of Oculus of taking intellectual property with him when he left to join the virtual reality startup.
But even the carnival atmosphere of today’s biggest titles pales compared to the launch of the seminal, controversial first-person Doom, which made its debut 20 years ago today.
Carmack, the co-founder of id software, has been named the new chief technical officer at Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Virtual reality got a bad reputation in the early 1990s. Proponents overpromised and underdelivered, with crappy graphics and headache-inducing headgear — not to mention prices that were so stratospheric, there was no way anyone could afford to buy a system.
It was a technology that became an afterthought — until game design guru John Carmack took an interest, at least. During the E3 conference in June, Carmack showed off the Oculus Rift headset, a virtual reality device he helped to create using (no joke) Oakley ski goggles, duct tape, and spare miniaturized rocket parts he had lying around his shop.
The pioneering game developer is often credited with creating the first-person shooter genre through revolutionary games like 1992’s Wolfenstein 3D (often hailed as the first FPS ever) and the ever-controversial Doom, but it hasn’t produced a new game since 2004.