‘When it became clear that I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id Software, I decided to not renew my contract.’
John Carmack is one of the most influential figures of the gaming industry. He is perhaps the man who more than any other can be single handedly credited with popularizing PC gaming, with id Software releasing technologically stunning games like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake in the 1990s, with cutting edge features such as online multiplayer support, in addition to his popularization of the freeware distribution method, as well as his tendency to release his engines to the public domain once they were old enough.
He shocked everyone when he announced that he had left id Software, the company he founded, to join Oculus Rift. Now, in an interview with USA Today, he has come clean about his reasons:
“I would have been content probably staying there working with the people and technology that I know and the work we were doing,” Carmack said. “But they [Oculus and id] couldn’t come together on that which made me really sad. It was just unfortunate.”
“When it became clear that I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id Software, I decided to not renew my contract.”
It’s actually pretty sad, and feeds into the fears of Zenimax becoming too controlling of a company that was essentially the bastion of open source hacker ethos. But well, at least Carmack got to do what he wanted to when he found a new home at Oculus Rift.