It remains unclear what Carmack’s role at id Software is going forward. Here’s the statement that was released to me by a ZeniMax representative just moments ago:
“John has long been interested in the work at Oculus VR and wishes to spend time on that project,” said a company spokesperson. “The technical leadership he provides for games in development at id Software is unaffected.”
ZeniMax is the parent company of id Software, Bethesda Softworks, and others.
In the press release from Oculus, the company noted that Carmack was now “full-time” at the company. I’ve asked for further clarification on whether this means Carmack is adopting more of a hands-off consultant role at his former home, or whether he’s still a day-to-day employee at id.
In either case, it’s a huge move.
“I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming--the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on,” said Carmack in a statement. “Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer’s early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It’s going to be awesome!”
Carmack will be opening an Oculus office in Dallas, Texas, and is currently recruiting employees.