John Carmack Sues ZeniMax For $22.5 Million

ZeniMax claims that Carmack's assertions are "completely without merit."


Video game industry veteran John Carmack has filed a lawsuit against ZeniMax, claiming his former employer owes him millions of dollars. According to Dallas Morning News (via Kotaku), Carmack filed the federal lawsuit this week, seeking $22.5 million from ZeniMax.

Carmack, who is now a higher-up at Oculus VR, said ZeniMax owes him money from the sale of id Software to ZeniMax in 2009. Carmack left id Software in 2013 to join Oculus.

According to Carmack's lawsuit, ZeniMax paid $150 million to buy id Software. "Now, nearly eight years after the sale, it says ZeniMax refuses to pay the final installment of cash it owes Carmack or let him convert it into shares of stock," Dallas Morning News reported.

The report goes on: "At the time of the sale, the lawsuit says Carmack was the majority shareholder of id Software and received a convertible promissory note valued at more than $45.1 million. He converted half of that into shares of ZeniMax stock, which he received."

A ZeniMax spokesperson said in a statement to Dallas Morning News that Carmack's claims are "completely without merit."

"Apparently lacking in remorse, and disregarding the evidence of his many faithless acts and violations of law, Mr. Carmack has decided to try again," the statement said.

Go to Dallas Morning News to get the full story.

This lawsuit follows a decision in February when a jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million in a lawsuit over the Oculus Rift. A key issue in the case was whether work done by Carmack while at id enabled the creation of the Oculus Rift. ZeniMax, as you'd suspect, believes it did and argued that code used to power the Oculus features indications it stems from ZeniMax work.

After the decision came down, Carmack spoke out with some strong words about it. For more, check out GameSpot's interview feature below.

This story has been updated and corrected.

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