Oculus claims Doom 3: BFG VR edition was cancelled over Zenimax equity dispute

5 May 2014  by   Peter Parrish
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Doom 3: BFG Edition

Did Zenimax meddling prevent you from seeing this fellow in VR? Maybe.

The latest incredibly childish battle of two corporate entities continues, as Oculus makes some claims about Zenimax. This is the company’s response to Zenimax’s original claims that Oculus used their “technology and intellectual property” when it made the Rift. Specifically, technology developed by John Carmack while he worked at Bethesda (under the terrifyingly wide corporate umbrella of Zenimax Media.)

Oculus responded to this at the time by effectively saying “nu-uh!” but Facebook’s legal team has been hard at work crafting a lengthier response which has been doing the media rounds today. The most interesting suggestion to emerge from it is that the Doom 3: BFG virtual reality edition was cancelled because Zenimax demanded a “non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus” and Oculus refused. At least, that’s their take on it anyway.

The email obtained by VRFocus contains a number of “key points” from Oculus’ version of events. Here they are:

- There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products.

– John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from Zenimax.

– Zenimax has misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed.

– A key reason that John permanently left Zenimax in August of 2013 was that Zenimax prevented John from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company.

– Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.

– Zenimax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, Zenimax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only afterthe Facebook deal was announced has Zenimax now made these claims through its lawyers.

– Despite the fact that the full source code for the Oculus SDK is available online (developer.oculusvr.com), Zenimax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.”

So pretty much denying everything that Zenimax claimed, really. Not much of a surprise there. Who will ultimately triumph in this battle of corporate greed between two faceless entities? Will it be Facebook, or will it be Zenimax?

That’s a trick question of course because the answer is lawyers.

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