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.