John Carmack – chief technology officer for virtual reality company Oculus Rift – is suing his former employer ZeniMax, to the tune of $22.5 million USD. As Gamasutra reports it, he could walk away with $45 million USD if the court rules in his favour.
In a story from Dallas News, Carmack claims that he is suing for damages equal to what ZeniMax owes him following their 2009 purchase of developer id Software. As he puts it, a promissory note was issued by ZeniMax for the $22.5 million USD.
Carmack claims he tried to convert the promissory note into ZeniMax stock – effectively doubling his shares in the company – and then selling them for $45 per share, as was agreed upon in the original id Software sale. This would mean ZeniMax would have to pay Carmack roughly $45.1 million USD for the stocks. That per-share price is set to expire later this year.
The lawsuit from Carmack says ZeniMax “made it clear that the company would not voluntarily comply on a timely basis with the conversion notice,” putting them in violation of their purchasing agreement.
The programming luminary is seeking $22.5 million USD in damages, but he also wants ZeniMax to allow him sell his stocks, as per the original agreement. The suit adds that ZeniMax’s actions are a result of their recent legal battle with Oculus, which saw the former awarded $500 million USD after charges of NDA violations, copyright infringement, and false designation were ruled.
ZeniMax have issued their response to the suit, calling it “completely without merit.”
We have reviewed John Carmack’s latest legal complaint which is completely without merit.
We note that this is Mr. Carmack’s second complaint against ZeniMax. In the recently completed trial of ZeniMax Media Inc. et al v Oculus VR et al, in which Mr. Carmack was a named Defendant, and in which ZeniMax was awarded $500 million in damages for misappropriation of its intellectual property, Carmack had counterclaimed, seeking damages for ZeniMax’s alleged violations of his employment agreement. The jury flatly rejected Mr. Carmack’s complaint, and found for ZeniMax.
"Mr. Carmack was personally found guilty by the jury of the theft of ZeniMax’s property, including thousands of confidential ZeniMax documents he secretly took when he quit his employment, and his theft of the entire source code to id’s latest game, RAGE, including the id tech 5 engine. In addition to those crimes, it was revealed by an independent court-appointed computer forensics expert, that upon receiving notice of the Oculus lawsuit, the files on Mr. Carmack’s Oculus computer were intentionally wiped--destroying the evidence, and that a sworn affidavit Carmack filed with the Court denying the wiping was false. The wiping occurred right after Mr. Carmack researched on Google how to wipe a hard drive. And there was much more.
Apparently lacking in remorse, and disregarding the evidence of his many faithless acts and violations of law, Mr. Carmack has decided to try again. We look forward to presenting our response to Mr. Carmack’s latest allegations in Court.
We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.