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A lawsuit regarding VR systems has just been updated with new information. The dispute between ZeniMax and Oculus has been raging for years at this point. Now, a new development has forced a third party to give up sensitive documents.

ZeniMax filed the initial lawsuit. They sued Oculus VR for theft. ZeniMax claims that John Carmack, head of Oculus and co-founder of id Software, stole their technology for their Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. ZeniMax is the parent company of id Software, as well as Bethesda.


However, Samsung received source code and tech from Oculus VR in 2014 to help build their own Gear VR headset. Because of this, ZeniMax wants information from Samsung regarding the code and tech. As of October 27th, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Stickney granted the request. The courts have now given Samsung a subpoena, and they now have three weeks to comply.

In addition to this subpoena, the judge has ordered more information from Oculus itself. The company has two weeks to provide an image of the hard drive of John Carmack for information. That being said, the judge is ruling that ZeniMax may not have direct access to the drive or other devices.

Oculus has yet to respond to the subpoena.

Quick Take

To be honest, this is a very interesting case to watch develop. At first, I thought that ZeniMax was just bullying other companies. It reminded me of when they went after Mojang over the name Scrolls. However, getting this information could prove to be damaging for John Carmack! Time will tell what ZeniMax finds on the hard drives. What do you guys think of all this? Do you think that John Carmack could have stolen technology from the company he worked for? Or is ZeniMax just trying to push its clout around? Let us know below!

Connor Foss

Staff Writer

I'm a writer here at TechRaptor and can also do translation work between English and Spanish. You can usually find me playing horror games or Zelda!

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    Ah wonderful, another court battle over similar devices. /sarcasm
    I expect one side to win a settlement in the end and then both companies will continue making their devices anyways.

  • jlschmugge

    Carmack is the king of graphics programming. If there is any code ‘stolen’ from Zenimax, John was probably the one who wrote it. I wonder how he can go and work for another company and bring his expertise without replicating any of his code developed at Zenimax?

  • LiberatedBeer

    What do you mean? Zenimax hasn’t made a device at all.

  • Psyvenrix

    “raging lawsuit” – i didn’t realise this was a kekraptor article in disguise! 😉

  • Crizzyeyes

    There is no way you can get me to believe that Carmack committed code theft, unless it was all his code anyway. This is a guy who schooled all of the Sierra Interactive programmers in their own office back when id was trying to find a publisher for Wolf3D. Sierra was one of their most loved role models but that didn’t stand in the way of Carmack grilling them in front of everyone including Roberta Williams. He has some interesting viewpoints and is ultimately not really a “video game programmer” (he was always interested in the virtual reality aspect of games and first person), but he is an excellent programmer that I’ve never known to go back on his principles.

  • BurntToShreds

    If Oculus loses the case, will Palmer Luckey use his money to fund dank memes and billboards disparaging Bethesda?

  • Comprehension

    As extraordinary as Carmak’s vision may have been / still be, if he wrote it while he worked at ZeniMax, -it’s their code.- There’s 0 wiggle room for dispute on that, and what remains to be seen is how similar the tech is from one company to another. However well each company’s respective lawyer argues that point will determine who is right and wrong in this case (though we may never know if Carmak really did share ZeniMax tech…)

  • Donwel

    I’d say it would depend on if the code was written during company time, if that’s the case then it belongs to ZeniMax. If he wrote it during his own time (that would include things like lunch breaks, unless labour laws are different in the US) then the code belongs to him. Companies can’t be claiming ownership of products or in this case programming code that their employees work on in their own home or in their own time unless they intend to pay them for overtime hours worked. And that’s something I don’t think they’re willing to do.