Well, it seems the conflict between Oculus and ZeniMax is still ongoing. The court has already reached a final decision against Oculus, but its CTO John Carmack is now going after his former employer. He has now filed a federal lawsuit against ZeniMax saying that the company is denying to pay him the remaining of his earnings. And it amounts to a massive $22.5 million, reports Dallas News.
The said lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Carmack in the Dallas federal court, the same one where Facebook-owned Oculus was recently instructed to fess up $500 million to ZeniMax with regards to their copyright infringement battle. This lawsuit by Oculus’ CTO can be seen as an extension of the strenuous relation between the two technology firms. To which, the lawsuit says,
Sour grapes is not an affirmative defense to breach of contract.
But, Carmack is taking on ZeniMax for refusing to make the final payment with regards to the $150 million acquisition of his game studio, id Software, in 2009. The said company co-founded by Carmack back in the ’90s is well-known for revolutionizing the first-person shooter games. His name is attached to some widely popular titles like Doom and Quake. The lawsuit alleges that ZeniMax’s neither paying Carmack his last cash installment nor is it allowing him to convert it to shares of stock.
Further, the lawsuit document reveals that Carmack was the majority shareholder during his company’s acquisition eight years ago. And he was set to earn more than $45 million from the said acquisition, according to a convertible promissory note. He converted half of the said amount by purchasing half-million shares of ZeniMax back in 2011.
He continued to work at ZeniMax for another two years until his contract expired in 2013. Then, he moved on to work in the growing virtual reality (VR) industry and joined Oculus as their CTO. But, as the lawsuit reiterates, he is yet to receive the remaining half of the earnings that the game company owes him and hasn’t despite repetitive requests. Thus, he is now asking the court to compel ZeniMax to shell out the other half of his payment. He further adds that the company
Thus, he is now asking the court to compel ZeniMax to shell out the other half of his payment. He further adds that the game company is denying him the payment because they believe that Carmack had violated his employment agreement. But, Carmack further goes on to add,
ZeniMax did not bring any claim for breach of contract against Mr. Carmack as part of that (Oculus v. ZeniMax) lawsuit
In an electronic statement received by UploadVR, a ZeniMax spokesperson has stated that the complaint filed by Oculus CTO John Carmack is without merit. Also, the statement goes on to add,
Apparently lacking in remorse, and disregarding the evidence of his many faithless acts and violations of law, Mr. Carmack has decided to try again. We look forward to presenting our response to Mr. Carmack’s latest allegations in Court.
This is the latest chapter in the battle between ZeniMax and Oculus, which started back in 2014 when the former accused the latter’s co-founders of stealing their proprietary technology and using it without authorization to build their own VR gear. This lawsuit was settled just last month, where Facebook-owned Oculus was asked to pay $500 million. But, this shouldn’t cause any roadblocks for Carmack’s payment as ZeniMax didn’t bring up any charges of breach of contract against him during the said lawsuit.