John Carmack leaves Id Software; goes full time at Oculus

John Carmack leaves Id Software; goes full time at Oculus

The words "John Carmack" and "Id Software" are practically synonymous with each other; Carmack is a company co-founder and the legendary game programmer behind the 3D engine technology used in Doom, Quake, Rage and their various sequels. But those days have come to an end, for Carmack has resigned his position as tech director at Id Software, according to Gamasutra.

Over the summer Carmack accepted a position as Chief Technology Officer at Oculus VR, a company that's developed a 3D virtual reality head-mounted display. The technology has wowed gamers and game developers alike as they've seeded development units and plan to produce consumer headsets as well. Carmack was an early champion of the Oculus headset.

At the time, Carmack seemed content to split his time between Id Software and Oculus, but practical considerations have made him reconsider. In a statement posted on Twitter, Carmack said, "I wanted to remain a technical adviser for Id, but it just didn't work out. Probably for the best, as the divided focus was challenging."

Id spokesman Tim Willits told Gamasutra that Carmack's work on Id's new id Tech 5 technology is complete, so his departure won't affect any current projects.

Certainly Carmack's leaving Id is a tectonic shift in the landscape of game development; it's as monumental as if Gabe Newell were to leave Valve or Mark Rein were to leave Epic Games. Carmack is one of a handful of people who have very tangibly shaped the video game market into what it is today. But Oculus VR is at a crucial point in its development: the Rift headset isn't yet into the hands of consumers, and the company's still working out the kinks to make game development for the Rift as easy as possible. Surely Carmack's unfettered focus will help in that respect.

What do you think - are you surprised that Carmack has left Id Software, or did it seem inevitable? Are you excited about the gaming possibilities with a Rift headset? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Gamasutra

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Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

John Carmack leaves Id Software; goes full time at Oculus

7 Comments

I expected him to leave... When I heard about him working on the new project, it seemed like a logical conclusion because it's so difficult to split your attentions in multiple directions. (Despite what anyone believes, humans just can't truly multitask.) I'm excited to see where his new endeavor leads to.

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I'm not gonna lie, I thought this happened months ago when he proclaimed his commitment to the Oculus. Who knew? About time, anyways.

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Carmack leaving Id Software is a testament of how dedicated he is in giving the best he can with his work. Him leaving Id Software may be the most practical thing for him to do to avoid splitting his focus that might affect the quality of his work, I still can't imagine that it was easy for him to make that decision. So, kudos to him. Excited to see what they new technology thru can bring with the Oculus Rift.

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Surprised he left, but excited to have a mind like that working on a virtual reality type device.

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