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Oculus Rift responds to claims by Zenimax that it was stolen

Zenimax has made claims that the technology was stolen from them
Zenimax has made claims that the technology was stolen from them
Photo by Cindy Ord

Interesting developments have emerged regarding the Oculus Rift and Zenimax dispute. In an e-mail statement released today, May 5, Oculus responded to the claims that Zenimax made in regards to the VR technology being stolen. The statement starts by saying that,

We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false."

It goes on to point out several key points:

  • 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 after the 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.

The timeliness of these claims could not have come at a worse time. Of course, if you remember, it hasn't been too long since Facebook bought the virtual-reality company for $2 Billion dollars. That's a lot of money, and that's why Zenimax's timing stinks. If this had been done any other time, then it would not be making headlines today. However, if you found out something was stolen from you, and it wasn't worth anything at the time, would you care too? Probably not.

What do you think? Does something smell fishy? Or are the claims by Zenimax valid? Sound off in the comments below.

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