ZeniMax Vs. Oculus: Palmer Luckey Didn’t Develop Rift

I am sorry to bring you an update on ZeniMax’s lawsuit against Oculus, a dispute over how much ZeniMax and then-id Software technowizard John Carmack contributed to the Rift’s development. I’m sorry because courtroom drama is so dry. I’d much rather tell you about how Jessica Fletcher, Phryne Fisher, or equivalent amateur sleuth uncovered evidence, how they charmed their way into a high-society dinner, pumped a suspect for details with grace, then cracked their safe with a bobby pin.

No, instead all I can tell you is ZeniMax lawyers claim that the Rift only became the technological wonder we know today thanks to work by Carmack and other ZeniMax employees, not solely by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. Heck, they say Luckey “lacked the training, expertise, resources or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax’s computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift.” Oof.

This lawsuit, which has been brewing for years, claims that Oculus Rift is built upon research and technology John Carmack worked on when he was at the ZeniMax-owned studio id Software. That’s it. They think work they own is central to Rift, and further claim that John Carmack wrongfully took thousands of documents and a VR tool with him when he left. So! As Game Informer points out, ZeniMax last week filed a new amended complaint.

Basically, ZeniMax say that the Rift would be nothing without them. They allege that Palmer Luckey provided Carmack with a basic prototype lacking everything from integrated motion sensors to software then Carmack and other ZeniMax employees developed it into something resembling a product. They also helped promote it with a VR version of Doom 3 and demos at E3.

The first sticking point is that ZeniMax shared their work and improvements with Luckey under a non-disclosure agreement but claim Oculus have never received permission or a license to use them commercially or share them with others.

Then, when Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer and soon after left id Software altogether:

“Before leaving ZeniMax, Carmack secretly and illegally copied thousands of documents containing ZeniMax’s intellectual property from his computer at ZeniMax to a USB storage device which he wrongfully took with him to Oculus. After he had joined Oculus, Carmack returned to ZeniMax’s premises and took without permission a customized tool that Carmack and other ZeniMax personnel had developed for work on virtual reality.”

Oh. Then Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014 and ZeniMax swiftly called in their lawyers.

ZeniMax claim Luckey wasn’t even able to fully develop the Rift himself:

“Oculus needed to be able to explain how it came to own VR technology, but did not want to acknowledge that it had misappropriate, and was using, ZeniMax’s technology. Oculus . . . disseminated to the press the false and fanciful story that Luckey was the brilliant inventor of VR technology who had developed that technology in his parents’ garage. In fact, that story was utterly and completely false: Luckey lacked the training, expertise, resources or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax’s computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift. Nevertheless, this fraudulent tale was frequently reported in the media as fact. Luckey increasingly and falsely held himself out to the media and the public as the visionary developer of the Rift’s VR technology, which had actually been developed by ZeniMax without any substantial contribution from Luckey.”

ZeniMax claim that the Facebook mega-buyout shows their work was hugely valuable to Oculus. They also say that Oculus told Facebook they had full rights to use everything they had, which of course ZeniMax dispute.

It’s more complicated than this, of course. Yes, this is the simplified version. Basically, ZeniMax say Oculus used – and made a fortune from – work ZeniMax paid for. That’s it.

Oculus, naturally, dispute this. They told Game Informer that “This complaint filed by ZeniMax is one-sided and conveys only ZeniMax’s interpretation of the story.” Okay!

To arms, lawyers! To arms!

God, I know exactly how Jessica Fletcher would’ve handled this. It would have been amazing. Where will this all end?

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  1. Cinek says:

    As it stands now ZeniMax doesn’t exist in VR market. For a company that claims to be one of the pioneers – they did an awful job.

    • aepervius says:

      Beat me to it. It reeks of a pantent troll smelling the money and thinking they have a chance in court, or at least maybe get a rich parent company to settle rather than have a costly suit.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Generally speaking, technology pioneers get screwed, yes.

      • Cinek says:

        Also patent trolls like to screw over successful startups.

        • big papi says:

          This is not patent trolling, technically. This suit is based on the well-established legal principle that any work performed at your employer’s place of business, or using any equipment or resources provided by your employer, or performed during your work hours, stays the property of your employer forever.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      The irony in your post is beyond imagining.

      Do you have the most basic clue what Zenimax is claiming? The REASON they don’t exist in the VR market is EXACTLY BECAUSE of what they’re saying.

      The claim is that John Carmack was working on VR tech at ZeniMax. He then left ZeniMax, and took everything he made to Oculus. The core of the allegations is this:

      “613. In the summer of 2013, Carmack’s employment contract with ZeniMax expired. On August 1, 2013, Carmack became Oculus’s Chief Technology Officer (“CTO”). Before leaving ZeniMax, Carmack secretly and illegally copied thousands of documents containing ZeniMax’s intellectual property from his computer at ZeniMax to a USB storage device which he wrongfully took with him to Oculus. After he had joined Oculus, Carmack returned to ZeniMax’s premises and took without permission a customized tool that Carmack and other ZeniMax personnel had developed for work on virtual reality.”

      So OF COURSE ZeniMax is nowhere in the VR field. All their work was literally stolen by a former employee.

      And to the people carping about “patent trolling” – you have no clue what you’re talking about. That’s literally totally unrelated. Not only is this not a patent case, this is a case where the company actually claims they were the ones who did the important work, but their key workers were lured away and stole all the tech when they left.

      • aepervius says:

        I have a good clue. See there is a reason I think alogrithm should never be patentable. Imagine somebody patenting the quadratic equations. Makes sense ? Not at all. You may*copyright* a particular implementation of an algorithm and so maybe carmack did copyright infringement. the fact that the US allow algorithm patent means somebody can patent a mathematical equation and hold everybody hostage. See GIF. So that’s it for the software side. Frankly if there is a patent infringnement it is only due to the utterly insane algorithm patenting in the US, considered industrial process 8which they are not).

        Now the hardware side : unless they patented their prototype and/or carmack stole a prototype hardware, you cannot speak of thievery. So unless Carmack had stolen the physical prototype (which he effectively did not as they speak of software only), then they should have had a prototype by now, they should have been able to continue development. Carmack did not burn down the hard drive and salt the machines when leaving. Yet they do NOT have any such prototype.

        And add to that that they started only suing apparently only after the facebook deal. Once the money was starting to get real.

        The all to me tells me they are most probably greatly exagerating the situtaion, they were nowhere near hardware prototype, decided to take no risk and now try to profit off somebody’s else taking risk.

        Now i may be wrong, but seeing the history of zenimax , i doubt it.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          nothing in this case has anything to do with patents

          try again

        • Captain Joyless says:

          “so maybe carmack did copyright infringement.”


          Copyright infringement is EXACTLY WHAT ZENIMAX IS ACCUSING HIM OF

          “COUNT 2 – Copyright Infringement (Against All Defendants)”

          One day you should read the lawsuit you’re blathering on about.

        • lampuiho says:

          link to polygon.com

          He is a marketing person, not an inventor, period.

          I do believe ZeniMax were the group that invested heavily on such a product.

      • thelastpointer says:

        This would imply that the only person with any competence in VR was Carmack, who later single-handedly incapacitated Zenimax in the VR field.

        If that’s not the case, then I’d argue that Zenimax failed to display any intention to actually use or defend their patents, which is something the jury should take into consideration.

        And frankly, the stupid made-up story about sneaking around with pendrives and the more than convenient timing just makes this seem sensationalist and ill-considered.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          “This would imply that the only person with any competence in VR was Carmack, who later single-handedly incapacitated Zenimax in the VR field.”

          of course that incapacitated them. i suppose you don’t work in tech. if your employee who was responsible for creating and overseeing all of your R&D leaves, you can’t just hire someone to replace him without needing months for the new guy to understand what he was even taking over. even if he does miraculously catch up, your competition has all of that R&D, and they got it for free instead of spending millions on it. they are in a 100% superior position. so yeah, you’re screwed.

          “then I’d argue that Zenimax failed to display any intention to actually use or defend their patents, which is something the jury should take into consideration.”

          well, good thing you’re not a lawyer, then, because that argument is legally meaningless. and again, this case has absolutely nothing to do with patents, so just stop typing.

          “And frankly, the stupid made-up story about sneaking around with pendrives and the more than convenient timing just makes this seem sensationalist and ill-considered.”

          how do you know it’s “made-up”? i’m guessing they have actual records of what files were copied off of their systems, and when.

          you think this is some kind of sensationalist story? get a grip: this happens all the time in the real world. corporations lure the competition’s employees away, and those employees bring copyrighted work, trade secrets, etc with them. I HAVE WORKED ON CASES LIKE THIS. This is not a spy novel; it’s what really happens in the real world.

          • thelastpointer says:

            Actually I do work in tech as a senior programmer. And just so you know, any company who’s relying on a single person, with no backups, documentation, and the lead dev making sure that their peers are up to date is bound to fail and irresponsible. What if he gets hit by a bus? You just lost two billion dollars by accident?

            Granted, he might have worked alone in a basement as the sole member of Zenimax’s one-man R&D army, but… seriously?

            We usually have a non-competement clause in our contract, which Carmack might very well have violated, but then they’d sue him, not Oculus. And even that wouldn’t explain why Zenimax has no actual assets after Carmack’s departure.

            Your right about that this is not a spy story – he’d upload relevant code to a server or send it in email, and that wouldn’t destroy Zenimax’s copies.

          • Captain Joyless says:


            why do people continually try to discuss lawsuits without even knowing the basics like WHO IS IN THEM

          • frenchy2k1 says:

            John Carmack is basically a certified genius. The guy revolutionized the video game market multiple times through DOOM (first successfuyl FPS, improving on their own first FPS of Wolfenstein) then quake (first full 3D FPS), then RAGE (technically impressive, using mega textures).
            He has very few peers in that industry (3D engine programming) and even worked in rocket science to bring the cost of creating a rocket down.
            So, him being irreplaceable is not particularly surprising. Saying noone should be irreplaceable is fine, but not easy for real visionaries.

            Zenimax may have hoped to partner with Occulus, getting them dependent of their resources then merge or acquire them. However, Facebook bought them first. At that point, they lost all their investment (time and resources) and the employees linked to it, with no further hope of acquisition or partnership. This lawsuit is the fallout from the acquisition.

      • k.t says:

        Some important points Zenimax decided to leave out:

        Luckey documented the development of multiple VR headsets on the MTBS3D forums starting in September 2009 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), two and a half years prior to Carmack contacting him. Between them, those headsets already include all the functionality Zenimax claims to have created, as do numerous other headsets from the last 30 years.

        Zenimax claims it was the interest they generated at E3 2012 that prompted Luckey to run a Kickstarter campaign, but this was actually announced in April 2012, a month before Carmack became involved and two months before E3.

        It’s true that the prototype Luckey provided to Carmack lacked a motion sensor — because it was removed at Carmack’s request since he already had his own tracking solution from working with previous hardware.

        It’s also true that Oculus never received permission nor a license to use Carmack’s work commercially or share it with others — and they haven’t done that. Nor have they used it to develop their SDK. None of that is even possible as they never received the source code, only binaries.

        Zenimax made no claims regarding Oculus software or hardware for the first eighteen months it existed. Only after Facebook bought the company did they declare their ownership of it. Prior to that they only wanted compensation for the publicity generated at E3.

        As someone who’s been watching this unfold since the days when it was just a small community of VR enthusiasts hacking away on DIY hardware, seeing Zenimax make these claims has been infuriating.

      • Sic says:

        What a crock of absolute shit.

        Carmack did as he always did, work 24/7. Some of that included an interest in VR. He probably thought about VR when at the premises of the company he himself founded. Big whoop.

        The notion that persons or thoughts are under absolute ownership of anyone else is absolute nonsense. If he wasn’t specifically working for Zenimax on VR, on their dollar, this case is complete bollocks.

        This is a guy used to working 120 hour weeks. Zenimax isn’t paying him for that. If he happens to be interested in rocketry or VR, he will bloody well work on that whenever he wants (as long as it’s not on company time).

        I can all but guarantee that he didn’t work on any run-of-the-mill Zenimax workstation either. He’s always been very specific about his hardware. If memory serves, he bought a NeXT out of pocket while developing Doom. I’m sure he wasn’t stupid enough to use trash Zenimax hardware while developing on his spare time.

      • Yglorba says:

        You seem to be confused.

        ZeniMax does not and has never done meaningful VR work. The sum total of the history summarized in their court filings amount to some vague efforts to optimize their games with what existed back in the 90’s, and some more recent efforts to explore what could be done with off-the-shelf solutions in 2011. That’s it. That’s all they’ve ever done; presumably, they had an intern frantically scour their history for the words “VR” and that was all they could come up with. Carmack left the company specifically because they refused to let him work on VR.

        All their talk about “intellectual property” has been vague and hand-wavy because they have absolutely no intellectual property related to VR; you are correct that this isn’t a patent case, but that is because ZeniMax has no meaningful VR-related patents whatsoever, and they have none because they have never done any meaningful VR-related research and have never produced any worthwhile contributions to the field.

        Their claims here are entirely based around the purely hypothetical premise that Carmack (and a few others, but mainly Carmack), in his spare time but while employed by Zenimax, came up with ideas that were later used by Oculus. That’s the entire premise of their suit.

        They’re not claiming to have patents on any specific aspect of the Rift (though they’re happy to make broad sweeping claims about vague intellectual property) because, again, ZeniMax has nothing related to VR, and has never had anything related to VR, beyond at one time employing Carmack (who had a personal interest in it.)

        You keep saying “this isn’t a patent case!” as though that’s a good thing. But what that really means is ZeniMax can’t even claim any patents. That’s how vapid and hollow their case here is. They could not come up with a single iota of VR work worth patenting, despite all their vague claims to “intellectual property.”

        This is a blatant cashgrab and nothing else; ZeniMax is pissed that Carmack was poached from them, never wanted him working on VR (or with Oculus), and hopes to grab some of that $2 million by exploiting contract laws. But there is absolutely no credible reason to believe that ZeniMax has ever contributed anything whatsoever to VR technology, as your own implicit admission that they’ve failed to file even a single relevant patent shows.

        • SingularityParadigm says:

          Minor quibble:

          “$2 million”

          Billion. Or Milliard, depending on where you live.

          Other than that, spot on reply! I am glad a few people in this thread know what is really going on.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      Indeed, sounds like Zenimax’s board were complexly incompetent and should all resign.

  2. Zanchito says:

    As much as I despise Luckey, this reeks of patent trolling, as stated by several other readers. They only started complaining when Facebook moved in with the fat wallet? And I can’t picture Carmack stealing tech.

    • demicanadian says:

      Of course he did steal the technology. He stole the technology that they told him not to work on – the technology he left his own company to work on. But he still thought about working on this technology when he worked for zenimax, so it’s almost as if he stole it from them.

    • Ethaor says:

      I don’t know who’se right and who’se wrong.

      But going all lawyers on deck after the 2 billion transaction can be seen from both sides.

      -From the Oculus’s point of view it can be seen as a greedy move to cash in on the huge transaction.

      -From Zenimax’s side it can be seen as the right moment to defend their proprietary tech with all they’ve got since Facebook jumping in 2 billions at a time is the first tangible sign that the techno is going to get massively used and commercialized.

    • dangermouse76 says:

      “As much as I despise Luckey,”

      Wow seriously you despise him.That’s hard language, what he do to make you feel like that ?

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        phuzz says:

        I’m going to guess it’s because his company took Facebook’s money.

        Shit, if Facebook or anyone else turned up at my door with two billion dollars, I’d be willing to do more than sell them my company…
        Hey gran! How would you like a trip to America?

        • dangermouse76 says:

          Tech and gaming can get so politicised, like anything I guess.

    • CMaster says:

      You can’t picture Carmack stealing tech?

      The man who threatened to resign on the spot if ever asked to patent his work (admittedly much younger). The man who still ensured all his engines were made available open source? The man who stole computers in his youth, who seemingly believes that “information wants to be free”?

      Because I certainly can.

      • syndrome says:

        Wow, well for a freedom fighter, Carmack certainly has a flair for getting strangely involved with the obviously-dark-side megacorps.

        Zenimax (devils in white suits around the black round table)… Electronic Arts (devils in black suits around the white rectangular table)… Facebook (devils in blue suits amidst glass cubicles)… C’mon what’s next? Zynga (teenage well-groomed devils with angry dogs)? Umm, Umbrella?

      • Cederic says:

        Well clearly no, sounds like he would rather liberate it, set it free, share it with the world.

        No stealing at all.

        • Sabbatai says:

          Liberate it from who? Its owners? How? By… taking it?

          Sounds like stealing to me.

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            particlese says:

            Pretty sure by “engines”, they were referring to the Doom and Quake games’ engines, which, since there’s no way in heck he could get away with spending resources sanitizing and auditing the code for traces of middleware and such without consent of whoever would be in charge of that sort of thing for whichever version of id he worked for at the time of the open sourcing work, no — it makes zero sense to call it stealing.

            The Oculus stuff, though? Sure, that’s definitely stealing, assuming it was indeed developed in any way using their resources without consent to keep/release it after development, and assuming it didn’t use strictly copylefted software in specific ways, and even though Zenimax still has a copy, judging by their use of the word “copied”. However, I would be surprised if the phrasing isn’t dramatized for character assassination or intimidating Facebook’s lawyers or whatever.

            For levity’s sake: I really hope the stolen “tool” was Windows’ calc.exe or something.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Matchstick says:

    Is now a good time to expound upon the hypothesis that Jessica Fletcher is television’s greatest monster and most prolific serial killer ?

  4. Nibblet says:

    Did not the original lawsuit basically just boil down to “His brain box thought of this during working hours so we own it, pay up!”?
    This sounds more like your typical corporate sociopaths smelling an easy buck.

    • suibhne says:

      Not really. There are some pretty reasons for employment contracts to stipulate ownership of all IP developed during an employee’s tenure. Chief among them are that, when you hire an industry-leading expert, you want 100% of their focus output; and you don’t want to worry about any legally-ambiguous gray areas between your company’s IP and anything they might “autonomously” develop while steeped in your company’s IP.

      Mind you, not all companies are that restrictive, and I’m also not solely taking the employer’s side here. But it’s important to recognize there are some very good reasons for the typical employer stance.

      The best approach is for companies to recognize that smart employees might want to do other cool stuff in their non-work time, and to set up a fully transparent process for employees to fully document and disclaim such work and be able to own it.

      • suibhne says:

        Ugh lack of edit button ugh. (That only gets more and more important when we post comments on mobile, ha.)

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I am amused by the thought that employees may be contractually obliged to separate from families, surrender any custody of children, forgo any and all social engagements, suspend their hobbies and put away that cheesy novel they’ve been working on in their spare time for the past 15 years to ensure 100% focus on the job at hand, on pain of having friends/family/hobbies/pipe dreams confiscated as property of the organisation.

        • frenchy2k1 says:

          the legal limit (in California) is based on company resources.
          If your new invention happened on any of:
          – company time
          – company property
          – company resources
          – linked to company business
          then the company has a claim to it.
          Most companies will work with you if they are not interested in pursuing it to let you own it independently.
          This case, like many others, fall within the grey area and will be solved in court (he most probably worked on it during work hours and at zenimax, according to the filings).

  5. Geebs says:

    A surprisingly large number of chime-termini on the internet seem to think that John Carmack should go to jail for stealing his own thoughts.

    Cryptonomicon has a really neat write up of how this sort of lawsuit works.

  6. lglethal says:

    I’m reading a lot of people saying this is Patent Trolling and to be honest I was leaning that way as well, up until the part where Zenimax claim that he secretly downloaded thousands of files on to a USB stick and took it with him. The other claim that he came back to Zenimax’s premises after leaving the company and downloaded a program from the Zenimax servers is pretty damning of both parties – a) how on Earth did an ex-employee have access to his old work place, plus still having a log in, plus being left unattended near a computer with the ability to download something from the corporate network???? and b) if he did do that, then boy he should get what he deserves!

    I’m all for companies not being able to sue for you taking your skills and knowledge with you, but that does not include taking company documents and programs. Doesn’t matter if you wrote them or not – if you wrote them for a company, during company time, then they belong to the company. It’s why you get paid a wage.

    If he really did take the Program, and used it as the basis of later efforts, then Zenimax are in the right here, and he was very much in the wrong.

    But lets wait and here what Oculus have to say in their defence. But Zenimax are being pretty specific here and I guess they have the download records as proof. Will be interested to see how this plays out…

    • Distec says:

      I’m grudgingly in the same boat.

      I would really love to throw this on the pile of “Reasons why Zenimax is shit”. My resentment was recently renewed when I discovered the full extent of how they screwed over Prey 2 devs Human Head. But I’m really not sure about this particular affair.

      • Geebs says:

        The USB thing is probably a distractor. The thing that Zenimax actually consider legally important is that, as far as they’re concerned, they own all of the ideas JC had while he was employed by them. To be honest, I’m surprised that they haven’t yet sued him for stealing his own bank account’s PIN number.

        • lglethal says:

          I’m not sure I agree with you there. You do not make claims that someone stole something in a court filing without pretty significant proof that they did. It’s called libel otherwise. They are very specific with the USB stick and the coming back for a program. That makes me tend to think they have proof. Making claims like that with no backing is likely to see the judge awarding damages against you for false claims!

          • Yglorba says:

            Keep in mind that they are extremely vague about what sort of “ZeniMax IP” they’re accusing him of “stealing”.

            My reading based on the rest of their claims is that they believe he took personal notes on stuff unrelated to his work for them on a business machine, and later took these personal notes home; and that, because he wrote this down during company time or on a company machine, it is their IP and he “stole” it from them. Naturally they’re going to word this in as scary a manner as they can in a public filing.

            However, the core thing to remember here is that ZeniMax does not and has never done any work on VR. Outside of their claim that they own anything (work-related or not) that Carmack thought or wrote down while he was employed with them, there is nothing to to their case. There is no actual ZeniMax IP related to VR; ignoring the insane business legalese involved, there’s nothing Carmack could have stolen from them beyond some company time. We know for a fact that anything he took relevant to VR would have been his personal papers, because ZeniMax had nothing else worth taking.

        • dangermouse76 says:

          IP Ownership clauses can be odd and cover anything both in and out of work you do whilst at a company.
          Animation studios often have these clauses. How applicable they are depends where the employee operates or where the company chooses to bring any action to court.

          Fun times.

    • Sakkura says:

      It’s possible that, or some of the stuff that was shared earlier, did in fact mean Oculus used some of Zenimax’s IP without compensating.

      But the claim that the Zenimax IP was crucial to the Rift through not just the early prototype stage, but all the way up to the final product release this year, is completely pants on head and/or fire.

    • Manco says:

      Not going to delve into the specifics of this case but having access to an old office or still having a valid login is pretty damn common.

      Both because it usually takes time to deactivate logins and access cards (IT usually doesn’t prioritize this stuff even though they should, and ironically in some IT companies it takes even longer since they don’t have a dedicated IT department for this stuff), and because former colleagues and even bosses often still have social contact with you.

      Every single company I’ve worked at had former colleagues drop by just to say hello, show off kids,… and only the people who got fired with aggravating circumstances were truly barred from entering. people who left themselves or were fired for minor/economic reasons usually had no problem entering the premises.

    • k.t says:

      Oculus responded to the original complaint here, though that obviously doesn’t include anything from this amendment which is when the stuff about Carmack taking “documents and a tool” was added.

      And I completely disagree about Zenimax being specific. Throughout this whole thing they’ve been incredibly vague, repeatedly failing to specify what they’re alleging was taken and simply referring to it as “technology” instead. Eventually the judge got pissed off and told them in no uncertain terms that they had to provide a list of exactly what was taken or the case would be dismissed.

  7. Malcolm says:

    Wasn’t there quite a large degree of knowledge sharing between Valve and Oculus during the development of this technology? Micheal Abrash moved from Valve to Oculus eventually too. Portraying Carmack as the only source of VR knowledge seems a little disingenuous, but not unexpectedly so in the context of this court case.

  8. Sakkura says:

    That court filing is actually from May. The August date is when it was released to the public. If you skip to the last page of it, you can see the real date.

  9. thelastpointer says:

    I imagined John Carmack as he dons a black bodysuit and sneaks into Zenimax offices; nimbly dodging red lasers, and finally hanging on a thread over his old workstation to copy thousands of documents to a pendrive. There is a progress bar, green, and a loud audio cue whenever some progress is made.

    He then escapes with an airplane, but he must destroy the documents before Zenimax catches him! He hatches a plan — he calls his old friend, his long-lost partner in crime for a last job…

  10. ScubaMonster says:

    There was a VR episode of Murder She Wrote? I must find this now.

    • Missing Cat says:

      Haha, I thought it was Mrs Slocombe from ‘Are You Being Served?’ at first but you’re right, it’s a young Angela Lansbury! BTW, I think Alice is a ringer for Mollie Sugden in her prime.

      • Chaz says:

        I can’t help thinking of that Little Britain sketch every time I hear Mollie Sugden’s name now.

  11. GWOP says:

    I wish I could trust the scumbags who abused milestones and starved Human Head Studios in a vain attempt to acquire them.

    Sadly, I can’t.

  12. geldonyetich says:

    Maybe they could just settle for free Oculus development kits for integration into Elder Scrolls Online.

    They could introduce a new class that spends its time entirely on a miniature stilt strider.

  13. Missing Cat says:

    VR gaming is OK but in extremely small doses. We still need wall projectors and surround sound systems, simply because cutting off one’s sight and hearing 100% for extended periods is obviously a bad thing. It’s a *great* thing for would-be burglars/assassins though :)

  14. BlitzThose says:

    The only Winner here will be the lawyers…

  15. Ham Solo says:

    Can’t we just all get along for once and be happy that VR gaming is now actually on the verge of being not just possible technology-wise but also fun and almost affordable? I mean that’s amazing, guys. Remember the 80s and 90s.

  16. Elric666 says:

    As a HTC Vive and Bethesda fanboy, and a facebook sceptic, I feel tempted to pick ZeniMax’ side and root for them in the coming battle.

    But then again, Carmack is like a childhood hero of mine.

    And also, this is about lawyers, and all lawyers are bastards.

  17. Deano2099 says:

    If you think courtroom drama is dry then you’ve clearly not watched Boston Legal and need to rectify that post-haste.

    • anHorse says:

      The Good Wife is by far the best legal show, unfortunately it’s crippled by an awful title

      Boston Legal had it’s charm but that charm was also fairly repetitive.

  18. Jetsetlemming says:

    I honestly can’t find it within myself to care about the legal argument at all, but I love the idea of Carmack reigniting some of that early 90s edge that helped make Doom to enact a white collar heist. Also, I love the picture choices for this article.