Current Oculus CTO John Carmack is suing ZeniMax Media, his former employer, for $22.5 million in federal court. Carmack alleges that ZeniMax still owes him the final installment of his portion of the $150 million purchase of id Software, back in 2009. Carmack was one of the co-founders of id Software, the company responsible for the Doom and Quake series of FPS games that popularized the genre.
The lawsuit alleges that Carmack received a convertible promissory note for $45.1 million at the time of the sale, half of which he converted into ZeniMax stock. ZeniMax apparently now refuses to pay the remainder of the $45.1 million because of its feud with Facebook-owned Oculus—despite the fact that the jury for that trial didn't find Carmack liable on any claims.
Carmack's move from ZeniMax to Oculus has been a contentious one. ZeniMax previously sued Oculus' parent company Facebook for $4 billion, claiming ownership of the technology inside the Rift VR headset. ZeniMax alleged that Carmack developed key technology used in the Rift while he was still a ZeniMax employee. ZeniMax was granted a $500 million judgment in that case. Oculus is to pay ZeniMax $200 million for breaking a non-disclosure agreement, as well as $50 million for copyright infringement and $50 million for false designation. Judgements of $150 million and $50 million were levied against Oculus co-founders Palmer Lucky and Brendan Iribe. Carmack subsequently filed a counterclaim against ZeniMax, alleging violation of his employment agreement, but the suit was unsuccessful.
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