John Carmack Leaves id Software

John Carmack has resigned from id Software, the studio he co-founded in 1991.

id Software Studio Director Tim Willits broke the news to IGN earlier today.

“John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio…John’s work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects. We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id’s tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well.”

We reached out to Bethesda Softworks for comment, and the publisher has nothing to add to Tim’s remarks at this time.

Carmack has a few tweets on the move, including an interesting exchange with Markus Persson.


Carmack needs no introduction, nor do the games he’s worked on during parts of the last four decades. He’s the Nolan Ryan of triple-A game development, without a doubt.

Many, including myself, suspected that Carmack’s time at id was running out after he took the CTO position at Oculus. Splitting time between one of the most prestigious game studios around and the hardware company behind the latest VR push? That’s a dual-role very few people could fill for long.

Carmack’s legacy is heavy, yet oddly simplistic. He pushed technical boundaries like no one else could in game development, while building the FPS genre into the powerhouse that Call of Duty and Battlefield call home today. Furthermore, he’s a grandfather figure in eSports, creating the single greatest eSport title of all time, while maintaining a constant presence at QuakeCon these last two decades.

I’m a little sad, yes, but that sadness evaporates in the face of Oculus VR. You know John is working on some amazing things in their Dallas office, and I can’t wait to see them.

Of course, the burning question now is: Who will replace Carmack as the Technical Director at id Software? Speculation, commence!

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3 Comments on John Carmack Leaves id Software


On November 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Carmack knows how to build a decent engine but he hasn’t overseen development of a single good game in nearly fifteen years. Low-level coding and hardware is exactly where he belongs. Maye id can finally start making some products that people will actually enjoy playing again.


On November 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

It is a bit sad. But he’s still in the gaming world and as it was mentioned in the article, he’s going to be dumping all his time into Oculus. So I wish him the best. He’s a smart man and a true innovator, I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

Is his sibling Adrian Carmack still at id?


On November 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Doom was fun, doom 3 was fun, but everything else is “meh” in my books. The graphical problems in RAGE killed id for me.