John Carmack departed id Software last fall to work full-time on virtual reality technology at Oculus VR, and he left the company he co-founded because he couldn't work on VR there, he said in a recent interview with USA Today.
Carmack originally joined Oculus VR in August 2013 as chief technical officer. At the time he said he would also remain at id, with plans to split his time between id and the company behind the Rift headset. But he resigned from id completely in November, saying that "the divided focus was challenging" and that his departure was "probably for the best."
It now appears that that's not the full story. Carmack told USA Today that before he joined Oculus, he proposed a deal to Oculus and ZeniMax Media, id's parent company, that would have brought future ZeniMax games — such as the upcoming MachineGames title Wolfenstein: The New Order and eventually, id's Doom 4 — to the Rift.
"It would have been a huge win," said Carmack, adding that he would likely have stayed at id and kept working there and at Oculus if an arrangement had been worked out. "It seemed like a sensible plan for me."
But the companies couldn't come to an agreement, which "made me really sad," said Carmack. "When it became clear that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id Software, I decided to not renew my contract."
Carmack has been working full-time at Irvine, Calif.-based Oculus since November, although he still lives in the Dallas area. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said last month that Carmack is developing games for the Rift himself. We've reached out to ZeniMax for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.