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Oculus Sharply Responds to ZeniMax Allegations

So far, the companies are happy to dispute one another in the court of public opinion.

It hasn't taken long for Oculus to publicly respond to recent claims by ZeniMax that its former employee, John Carmack, was deeply responsible for the evolution of the Oculus Rift into a viable product. As part of its claims, ZeniMax was seeking compensation from Oculus, which just recently sold to Facebook.

The company issued a short statement today, which it said will be the "only response" about the matter "at the time."

Here's what Oculus had to say regarding ZeniMax's claims:

"We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false. In the meantime, we would like to clarify a few 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."
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128 Comments
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Posted by Clonedzero

Well this was refreshingly straight forward of a response.

Posted by HammondofTexas

Seems like this all started so ZeniMax could settle out of court and get some of that sweet sweet facebook money.

Posted by BaconGames

I'm actually kind of glad this isn't just another "we'll quietly settle this out of court" story. Let the games begin!

Posted by Jayxeno

Boosh.

They only want something, when you have something to give.

Edited by Brackynews

VIRTUALLY REAL BEEF!

Also, Romero's tweet comes around (almost) full circle.

Posted by Nightriff

Obviously they are going to say this, just as Zenimax said what they said. It will go to court or get settled outside in months.

Online
Posted by Viking_Funeral

I'm actually kind of glad this isn't just another "we'll quietly settle this out of court" story. Let the games begin!

$2 billion gets you some decent lawyers.

Posted by Sil3n7

Rap Game John Carmack

Posted by GalacticPunt

That's a pretty thorough smackdown on Zenimax's legal shenanigans. Don't forget that Oculus also have Mark Zuckerberg's army of lawyers to back them up, if need be.

Posted by Onemanarmyy

VR BEEF!

They should fight it out in a VR courtroom. I recommend Phoenix Wright.

Posted by pause422

Zenimax got rekt.

Posted by freakin9

I was hoping for them to use a curse word or two, based on the title.

Edited by fartGOD666

This virtual beef is far too real.

Posted by sravankb

Fuckin' Zenimax seem pretty trigger happy when it comes to suing people.

At least with the whole "scrolls" debacle, there was some logic behind it. This, on the other hand, seems like utter bullshit. Let's see if there's any truth to their claims. I doubt it, cause if stealing code was the actual problem here, then they would have brought it up a long time ago, not just after the Facebook buyout.

Edited by TheHT

Oh shit!

Posted by ripelivejam

@fartgod666: i don't know about you, but i hear those troglodytes at Zenimax are unwashed hairy scousers who like to eat their pizza with a FORK AND KNIFE >:(

Online
Posted by Zaccheus

This seemed ripe for the usual "here's some money lets leave it at that" back-room deals. I guess not!

Posted by hollitz

Subtext of this:

"They are fucking lying."

Posted by ColumnBreaker

I appreciate the succinct nature of this response.

Edited by ThatOneDudeNick

ZeniMax: "We want nothing to do with VR. ...What was that? $2 billion? They stole our code!!! We love VR!"

Edited by ottoman673

Shots fucking fired.

I would love nothing more than to watch Zenimax get its face shoved in the dirt, and if these statements are true... Well, that looks like it'll happen.

Zenimax better hope Wolfenstein makes them a good chunk of money. (Bethesda is a subsidiary, I think)

Edited by Luck702

I appreciate the lack of lawyer talk in this response. Quick, to the point, and (assumingly) factual. These points leave little room for misinterpretation the way Zenimax's claims do.

Edited by spraynardtatum

What an embarrassing way to start off a new technology. Two companies publicly fighting with each other through headlines over who owns what. I guess I can't really expect a company owned by Facebook to take the high road.

Oculus sold out and it shows in the way that they're handling themselves. I wish they showed more integrity and never took Zuckerberg's monopoly money.

Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

BOOM. That's nice to hear in such an easy to understand way. I really hope they can get past this nonsense soon.

Posted by development

Carmack must feel like a teen girl caught between a boyfriend and an ex.

Posted by CptBedlam

@spraynardtatum: Are you living in bizarro world? Zenimax is the bully here. And it's not the first time either. That company is scum.

Posted by NoCookiesForYou

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Edited by joshwent

Maybe Zenimax is just researching for a book called, "How to Fuck up Any Shaky Public Good Will That Came with The Studios You Bought".

I'm sure I'm in the minority, and it's not really fair, but their behavior is starting to taint my expectations for The Evil Within.

Posted by Shuborno

Well, no way Carmack is going to QuakeCon now... :S

Posted by spraynardtatum

@spraynardtatum: Are you living in bizarro world? Zenimax is the bully here. And it's not the first time either. That company is scum.

They're both being babies.

Posted by RVonE

What an embarrassing way to start off a new technology. Two companies publicly fighting with each other through headlines over who owns what. I guess I can't really expect a company owned by Facebook to take the high road.

Oculus sold out and it shows in the way that they're handling themselves. I wish they showed more integrity and never took Zuckerberg's monopoly money.

Are you high? Did you expect Oculus to just roll over when Zenimax decided to throw a tantrum?

Edited by Evilsbane

@spraynardtatum said:

@cptbedlam said:

@spraynardtatum: Are you living in bizarro world? Zenimax is the bully here. And it's not the first time either. That company is scum.

They're both being babies.

How, seems to me that Zenimax is hiding their bullshit claim behind legalese, while Oculus is laying the facts out on the table.

Posted by Zelyre

We at Zenimax believe that people may confuse the Occulus Rift with The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

Posted by RVonE

@zelyre said:

We at Zenimax believe that people may confuse the Occulus Rift with The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

lol

Edited by JamesJeux007

@joshwent: I'm kind of in the same situation. Whenever I think of Zenimax, I think of that and the "Scrolls" thing. And then I remember what studios they own, and I feel really bad for the developers of those games. They need to tell their legal team to calm the F down.

This story feels strangely like the whole "DOTA" thing between Blizzard and Valve. "Heck yeah DOTA is a pretty good user-made map in Warcraft 3. Wait, are those DOTA 2 numbers for real ?! HEY DOTA IS TOTALLY OUR IT'S IN W3 IT'S OUR GIVE US THE MONEY GIVE IT GIVE IT GIVE IT !"

And I'm slowly warming up to the idea of Facebook owning Occulus. They seem to be saying the right words, and saying them the right way. This response is an example.

Posted by bushpusherr

@cptbedlam said:

@spraynardtatum: Are you living in bizarro world? Zenimax is the bully here. And it's not the first time either. That company is scum.

They're both being babies.

What the hell is the "high road" here, and how is Oculus being a baby in this situation? This isn't just a verbal beef that they can "be the bigger man" and walk away from...they are being fucking sued. It's not something they can ignore.

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Posted by JoelTGM

-_-

Posted by Cerberus3Dog

I forgot that John Carmack is a major proponent of open source software. Makes ZeniMax's claims about stealing source code a tad more ridiculous.

Posted by jakob187

As it stands, with the hits that ZeniMax is taking and about to take, I really don't think they can afford a lengthy court battle of doom with Oculus and the all-powerful Facebook. They have a hardcore legal team behind them now.

Edited by Stimpack
Posted by Oni

Zenimax: TWO BILLION? Well, Carmack worked for us, so some of that money should probably go to us, because we raised him, or something. idk, MONEY!

Posted by spraynardtatum

@spraynardtatum said:

@cptbedlam said:

@spraynardtatum: Are you living in bizarro world? Zenimax is the bully here. And it's not the first time either. That company is scum.

They're both being babies.

How seems to me that Zenimax is hiding their bullshit claim behind legalese, while Oculus is laying the facts out on the table.

I think the whole thing should have been handled in private. When Zenimax didn't do that, Oculus should have. Now Oculus is playing along with Zenimax shitty publicity stunt. It's stupid. He said, she said bullshit.

@rvone Not at all, I would expect Oculus to fight as hard as they could from the respectable place of 'not in front of everyone on the internet'. That's immature. It's the Justin Beiber approach. I'm sure it's just what the lawyers said to do though so whatever. I just think this whole thing is moronic.

Posted by spraynardtatum
@stimpack said:

@bushpusherr: I don't think @spraynardtatum understands the situation.

Sorry about that. I was just responding to two other posts asking me the exact same question.

Posted by Greonhal

I am frightened and confused at the lack of Will Smith in this article.

Edited by TheSouthernDandy

TECH BEEF!

Edited by Fattony12000

Good on them for being so direct and clear with their statement.

Edited by Shevar

Giant Bomb: The #1 source for beef, news about beef and beefsteaks.

Posted by xyzygy

I don't care who was right and who was wrong in this; I am not touching Oculus as long as Facebook owns it. I will gladly wait until a company that doesn't own and share the information of billions of people comes out with its version.

Edited by RVonE

@evilsbane said:

@spraynardtatum said:

@cptbedlam said:

@spraynardtatum: Are you living in bizarro world? Zenimax is the bully here. And it's not the first time either. That company is scum.

They're both being babies.

How seems to me that Zenimax is hiding their bullshit claim behind legalese, while Oculus is laying the facts out on the table.

I think the whole thing should have been handled in private. When Zenimax didn't do that, Oculus should have. Now Oculus is playing along with Zenimax shitty publicity stunt. It's stupid. He said, she said bullshit.

@rvone Not at all, I would expect Oculus to fight as hard as they could from the respectable place of 'not in front of everyone on the internet'. That's immature. It's the Justin Beiber approach. I'm sure it's just what the lawyers said to do though so whatever. I just think this whole thing is moronic.

No of course they shouldn't have kept it private. Not responding in public will make Zenimax' claim seem more legitimate in the eyes of the public. As part of a publicly traded company, Oculus cannot risk such an outcome. Having public opinion on your side will make investors and shareholders feel more at ease (this also holds for the previous situation in which Oculus was privately held but depended almost entirely on investors for its continued existence). The only recourse they have is to make their case as clear as possible in order to assuage any doubt created by Zenimax.

Posted by MrSpaceMan

Dat pink eye

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