John Carmack, the programming genius who cofounded id Software and created titles like Doom and Quake, has left the company. He has taken a full-time job at Oculus VR as its chief technology officer.
Oculus makes the Rift virtual-reality 3D headset, a Kickstarter success story that has reignited the interest in VR and 3D in gaming.
Carmack raised eyebrows earlier when he announced he was joining Oculus, but he left his employment status at id unclear. Bethesda Softworks, which owns id, said that Carmack had not resigned.
But now that has changed.
“John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio. John’s work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects,” said Tim Willits, the studio director at id Software. “We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id’s tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well.”
Brendan Iribe, the chief executive of Oculus VR, recently told us that Carmack was focused on making a mobile version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles.
In a tweet, 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.”
Carmack started making games in the late 1980s but id Software was formally created in 1991. The company became famous for pioneering the first-person shooter genre with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. It was acquired by Bethesda in 2009, and it has been working on the latest installment of the Doom series.