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id Software founder John Carmack resigns

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

John Carmack, co-founder and technical director at id Software, has left the company to focus his full-time attention on his role as chief technical officer at Oculus VR, according to a statement provided by id Software and Bethesda Softworks.

"John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio," reads a statement from Tim Willits, studio director at id Software. "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. 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."

"I wanted to remain a technical adviser for Id, but it just didn't work out," Carmack wrote on Twitter. "Probably for the best, as the divided focus was challenging."

Carmack, a programmer at id who co-created Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, also founded Armadillo Aerospace in 2000. He was an early evangelist of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and pledged support for the device in Doom 4.

Oculus VR announced Carmack's appointment as CTO earlier this year. At the time, Carmack was said to continue his duties at Quake and Doom developer id Software.

"John has long been interested in the work at Oculus VR and wishes to spend time on that project," Pete Hines, vice president of PR and marketing at Bethesda Softworks said at the time. "The technical leadership he provides for games in development at id Software is unaffected."

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Oculus VR had no comment other than to confirm that Carmack was working full-time at the company.

Carmack's resignation from id is the second high-profile departure at the developer this year. President and former CEO Todd Hollenshead left the studio this summer after 17 years with the company.

id Software shipped Doom 3 BFG Edition last year, and the company's most recent original title was 2011's Rage. The company announced it was developing Doom 4 in 2008, but after failing to meet internal expectations, the title underwent a major revision "that promises to meet the very high expectations everyone has for this game and this franchise."

At this year's Quakecon, where Doom 4 was once again a no-show, Willits told Polygon that "internally, we're much more focused" on the game.