John Carmack Left id Software Due To VR Disagreements
Carmack, an id Software co-founder, and current CTO of Oculus VR, attempted to spearhead a partnership between Oculus and id (and in effect, between Oculus and ZeniMax). His plan: Make all forthcoming id Software titles available on Oculus hardware, fully supported. The beginnings of this deal were what led Carmack to promise Rift support for Doom 3 BFG at QuakeCon 2012 (something that never materialized), as well as promise Rift support on Doom 4. Wolfenstein: The New Order was also part of the plan.
But, as Carmack explains,
“…[Oculus and ZeniMax] 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.”
Without knowing the terms of the failed agreement, it’s hard to pin blame on either side. In the end, Carmack’s love of virtual reality outweighed the need to continue on at id Software — not an easy decision to make, especially when the latter is a company you co-founded 23 years ago.