Lack of VR game development led to John Carmack’s move to Oculus VR

Doom creator’s departure from id Software was fueled by his former studio’s reluctance to invest in virtual reality games

John Carmack, co-founder of id Software and creator of first-person shooter Doom, had plans to make the as yet unseen Doom 4 (we hope it doesn’t turn into vapourware or end up like Duke Nukem) compatible with virtual reality technology.

The plan, which formulated from his part-time stint as Oculus VR's Chief Technology Officer since August 2013, would have given VR gaming development the boost it needed.

All that became moot when he parted ways with the company he co-founded in November 2013. The studio’s issued statement, which suggested that Carmack left to focus on “things other than game development”, had a truth buried beneath it. A truth that’ll make you balk at its unwillingness to innovate. The horror.

Saying no to VR games

In an interview with USA Today, he revealed that the studio’s parent company Zenimax Media was squeamish about investing in virtual reality (VR) games. Without its full support, Carmack made the bittersweet decision to resign from the company and focused his attention on VR gaming development.

Development for VR games is still an untested ground for gaming studios. But the showcases from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show signal the advent of VR gaming, with Oculus VR's second iteration of the Rift headset and Crystal Cove prototype leading the charge.

Read more: PrioVR exoskeleton teams up with Oculus Rift to create the ultimate virtual reality gaming experience

In reality, this is a huge loss for id Software. But from the gaming industry’s perspective, Carmack’s full-time position with Oculus VR might bring the virtual headset into the mainstream market much earlier than its original timeline.

Doubtful? Even Valve is planning for an Oculus Rift rival. Imagine the library of Steam games, ready for virtual reality gaming, connected to the upcoming Steam machine.

Read more: Face-on review: Oculus Rift Crystal Cove, a bona fide VR revolution

Image credit: Oculus VR

[Source: USA Today via The Verge]

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