Oculus calls ZeniMax lawsuit 'wasteful,' claims ZeniMax lacked the 'vision' to build Rift

Executives from Oculus say they're 'eager to present their case in court.'

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The ZeniMax Media v. Oculus VR trial began yesterday in Dallas, TX, and Oculus wasted no time sharing its stance on ZeniMax's allegations that Oculus designed its Rift VR headset based on stolen technology from employees such as id Software co-founder John Carmack, who left id in 2013 to work at Oculus.

"We’re eager to present our case in court. Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate," Oculus wrote in a statement to UploadVR. "We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build."

ZeniMax filed suit against Oculus shortly after Facebook acquired the VR company for $2 billion in October 14. It's likely no coincidence that ZeniMax filed the suit for roughly that same amount.

The trial is expected to last just shy of one month. Numerous witnesses will be called, from Facebook co-creator Mark Zuckerberg to, one presumes, key employees from Oculus such as Palmer Luckey—who's mired in plenty of his own problems—and John Carmack.


Craddock's Corner: Shack's editors have been talking up a storm about the trial, and CEO Asif Khan brought up a good point: Carmack's involvement lies at the heart of ZeniMax v. Oculus VR. He expressed his interest in virtual reality numerous times prior to leaving id, giving ZeniMax high cause to level accusations at Oculus.

Oculus can claim that ZeniMax lacked the "vision, experience, and patience" to create Rift, but what it needs to do is focus on proving that Carmack didn't bring any tech that could be considered property of ZeniMax when he left id—part of the ZeniMax family—to work at Oculus. If Carmack took anything, even a Post-It Note with a doodle of a VR headset, ZeniMax could very well win.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      January 10, 2017 5:51 PM

      This gon be gud

      • reply
        January 10, 2017 5:55 PM

        This gun be gud

      • reply
        January 11, 2017 2:24 AM

        This is something I try to grapple with.

        What is a person with "Vision" worth these days? They can't just be a dreamer, they have to have something to bring to the table, such as good networking or the wheel and deal of creating business. But what is the "vision" portion actually worth versus the people who taking part in actually creating it?

        In a 5 person start-up, it seems almost worthless because you need that person to have the necessary skills to help build it as well. However, in a 50+ person company, you don’t necessarily need the skills to build it but the persuasion and communication to show them the goal and have them understand it so that it is executed properly.

        I know there are people out there, as evidenced by the glut of VR demos, who can do both or believe they can. I'm asking, in two-tones, for companies who are created asymmetrically and need creative guidance, on what that is actually worth.