Oculus CTO John Carmack is suing games publisher Zenimax for $22.5 million. He has filed a lawsuit against his former employer for earnings that he claims are still owed to him. Carmack says the amount should have been handed over as part of the agreement that saw the media firm purchase id Software, which was founded by the gaming veteran.
In February, Facebook-owned Oculus was ordered to pay $500 million to Zenimax for violating copyright infringement, non-disclosure agreement, and false designation. The chief technology officer of Facebook’s Oculus division has personally joined the litigation war between the games publisher and his company.
According to Engadget, John Carmack said that the games publisher behind developers id Software and Bathesda refused to pay the rest of what it owes him for id Software’s purchase in 2009. The company paid $150 million to purchase the studio, best-known for making the Quake and Doom series of games.
According to Tech Crunch, legal documents reveal that the id Software acquisition rewarded John Carmack with a $45 million payout. In 2011, the Oculus CTO converted around 50 percent of that settlement into shares of the media firm’s stock. He expected the rest to be paid in cash.
Legal papers reportedly suggest that the Maryland media firm has not yet paid that remaining half of the settlement. The postponement is believed to be due to sour grapes on the company’s behalf. The papers ask the court to compel the firm to pay up.
John Carmack filed the lawsuit on Tuesday saying Zenimax Media Inc. still owes him $22.5M for id Software’s acquisition. Fortune notes that the lawsuit is indirectly related to an intellectual property fight between the game publisher and the Facebook subsidiary that resulted in the $500M ruling in ZeniMax’s favor last month.
John Carmack co-founded game development studio Id Software that revolutionized the first-person shooter with video games Quake and Doom. In 2009, Zenimax media Inc. purchased Id Software and the gaming vet left the firm to take the position of chief technology officer of Oculus in August 2013.
The long-running legal fight between ZeniMax and Oculus began in 2014, when the former sued the Facebook subsidiary, alleging illegally misappropriating the media firm’s trade secrets relating to VR tech. Last month, a jury sided with the media firm in that case.
John Carmack is suing Zenimax for the unpaid acquisition money. It is reported that early this month the Maryland media firm refused to pay the final $22M it owes to the Oculus CTO through a stock conversion deal. The final deadline for the payment is June 23, 2017. In response to the suit, the Rockville, Maryland-based media company said that the gaming veteran’s claim was fully “without merit.”
By Anila Maring