John Carmack Sues Former Employer ZeniMax For $22.5 Million


Oculus and ZeniMax Media are headed toward a new battle all over again. John Carmack, the Chief Technology Officer of Facebook-owned Oculus, has sued ZeniMax Media for not paying him the remaining amount from the sale of his 2009 game studio, id Software.

The latest lawsuit is not connected to the $6 billion trade secret suit that took place in February. Carmack had worked with ZeniMax Media until Nov. 22, 2013. After the expiry of his contract with ZeniMax Media, he joined Oculus as the new CTO.

Oculus Sues ZeniMax

According to a report from Dallas News, Carmack has accused ZeniMax Media of not paying the remaining $22.5 million of the sale of id Software due to what the suit states "a series of allegations regarding claimed violations of Mr. Carmack's Employment Agreement."

ZeniMax bought the id Software game studio, which is known for developing games like Doom and Quake, in 2009. According to the lawsuit, initially ZeniMax had agreed to pay $150 million for the purchase of id Software.

However, eight years after the sale of the game studio, Carmack has charged ZeniMax Media of refusing to pay the remaining installment the company owes him.

According to the lawsuit, Carmack was one of the major shareholders of id Software; as a result of which he even received a "convertible promissory note" which was more than $45.1 million. However, in 2011, Carmack converted half of that amount into ZeniMax's common stock, but to date is yet to receive the other half of the earnings either in cash or in common stock.

What ZeniMax Has To Say About It

In a mail, a ZeniMax spokeswoman stated Carmack's claims were "completely without merits."

"Apparently lacking in remorse, and disregarding the evidence of his many faithless acts and violations of law, Mr. Carmack has decided to try again," stated a Zenimax official statement.

Richard Smith, Carmack's attorney, has declined to comment on Zenimax's statement. In a previous lawsuit filed by ZeniMax, the company had accused Oculus of stealing the concept behind the Oculus Rift VR headset. 

According to ZeniMax's claims, Carmack, the ex-employee of the firm, had apparently developed the underpinnings for the Oculus Rift, while he was working with the company.

This lawsuit forced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbeg to visit Dallas to testify in the matter all by himself. At the end of the case in February, ZeniMax was awarded with $500 million as compensation.

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