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John Carmack resigns from id Software

John Carmack resigns from id Software

Fri 22 Nov 2013 8:45pm GMT / 3:45pm EST / 12:45pm PST
Jobs

Co-founder of Doom developer severs ties in order to focus full-time on Oculus VR CTO position

id software

id defined by Freud as the primal section of the human psyche; id Software, located in Mesquite, Texas,...

idsoftware.com

When John Carmack signed on to be the full-time chief technology officer at upstart Oculus VR, id Software parent Bethesda Softworks was quick to say the developer's work at the Doom development studio would be unaffected. That might have been the plan, but in practice it hasn't turned out that way. In a statement to GamesIndustry International, id studio director Tim Willits confirmed that Carmack has left the company entirely.

"John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio," Willits said. "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."

Carmack offered his own comment through Twitter, saying, "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 was an original co-founder at id Software, working there since its inception in 1991. He is the last of the original core of founders--which also included Tom Hall, John Romero, and Adrian Carmack--to leave the company. Earlier this year, the company also lost studio president Todd Hollenshead, who had been part of the company since 1996 and served as its CEO until its 2009 acquisition by Bethesda.

Oculus wasn't Carmack's only non-id responsibility. The developer also founded the Texas-based rocketry firm Armadillo Aerospace, but inquiries as to his current status with the company have not been returned as of press time.

20 Comments

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

564 311 0.6
I hate the comment deleted aspect of this..

All I said was that the game industry is starting to realize that INDIVIDUALS are really important.

" Bethesda Softworks was quick to say the developer's work at the Doom development studio would be unaffected. That might have been the plan, but in practice it hasn't turned out that way."

Posted:10 months ago

#1

Andrew Hsieh
Editor-in-Chief

1 0 0.0
Wow. The times are a-changin'.

Posted:10 months ago

#2

Till Dzierzon
Localization QA Tester

17 0 0.0
What was deleted?

Posted:10 months ago

#3

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,178 1,127 0.5
Well, I figured a split was coming since he's a belieber in that OR tech and they kind of need someone like him and his vision to see some things through all the way. Good for him, but I guess that means any DOOM game coming from id in the future may or may not be OR compatible. Eh, we'll see. I hate speculation anyway...

Posted:10 months ago

#4

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

481 290 0.6
Being honest I can't remember the last amazing thing Carmack has done. I don't believe he was making any meaningful contributions to doom at all. Hopefully he's found some passion again because it was severely flagging at iD

Posted:10 months ago

#5

matthew bennion
Web Development

31 33 1.1
Quit Id to focus on vr tech that only the insanely rich can afford to take full advantage of. I'm not sure why he'd want to do that but good luck i guess.

Posted:10 months ago

#6

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,251 407 0.3
@Matthew, but then didn't iD pioneer making games that you needed to be insanely rich to afford the hardware upgrades to run properly?

Posted:10 months ago

#7

Frank Trottier
Analyst programmer

22 22 1.0
Will Carmack come back at the helm of ID and fire everyone on the board like Steve Jobs ? ;)

Posted:10 months ago

#8

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,107 1,091 1.0
Popular Comment
After what John Carmack initially said about the device, he now gives new meaning to putting his money where his mouth is. You can have nothing but respect for a person who is that excited about technology and pursues its advancement. A million miles above other 'lead figures' 'advancing' their company to now feature insidious business models focusing on the psychological exploitation of human beings.

Posted:10 months ago

#9

Shawn Clapper
Programmer

33 57 1.7
When you take into account the average price of a "poor" persons computer, TV, etc I don't think "insanely rich" falls into Oculus Rift category.

Posted:10 months ago

#10
@Matthew
I'm sure it has more to do with driving the tech in a smaller machine, than being a small cog in a larger one.

Posted:10 months ago

#11

James Persaud
Game Programmer

9 4 0.4
@Matthew... Right, those guys who left whatever they were doing to go and work on computers in the 50s were similarly crazy weren't they, because computers are the size of a house and cost more than anyone but a national government can afford.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by James Persaud on 23rd November 2013 5:06pm

Posted:10 months ago

#12

Eric Leisy
VR Production Designer

117 127 1.1
I'm confused by the insanely rich comments as well. I would say to you Mathew and the few others - you've somehow missed the whole point. Oculus Rift technologies are so exciting because of how dang affordable the technology is. Oculus Rift is supposed to come on the market somewhere around the $250 - $300 range... hardly qualifies it as a toy of the elite. I echo John Carmack's excitement. I CANNOT WAIT for this stuff to be a consumer reality. I've almost bought the developer kit several times just because I'm so eager to get my hands on the technology. It sounds like they are just a year or more away from releasing the consumer version of this tech and its supposedly superior to the dev console. I have a feeling John knows just how great this device is going to be and definitely wants to be on that gravy train!

Posted:10 months ago

#13

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,251 407 0.3
Whilst the rift may itself be somewhere near $300, at the moment don't you need a high end graphics card to use it? Most people don't find high end gaming rigs affordable, so it is not unfair to say a $300 device that needs a $1600+ PC is not a budget device.
That's not to say this might not change, although from recent comments, their company focus is iteration for high end machines.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goodchild on 25th November 2013 7:11am

Posted:10 months ago

#14

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
For every celebrity game developer there are thousands who remain relatively anonymous.
Yet fame is no indicator of talent, ability or contribution to the industry.
It does however bring considerable advantage to those who self publicise.

Posted:10 months ago

#15

Andres Bordeu
Game Designer / Cofounder

4 8 2.0
Popular Comment
@Bruce, I don't think anyone can say John didn't bring HUGE contributions to our industry. Not really sure what you're trying to say when you post "fame is no indicator of talent, ability or contribution to the industry". The guy's fame is totally deserved and worthy of his talent; no one can question that. You can always read 'Masters of Doom' and learn about how he helped shaped the PC game scenario and the FPS genre.

Posted:10 months ago

#16

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Andres Bordeu

You are reading far more into my comment than I intended.
I was just making general points.

Posted:10 months ago

#17

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,170 954 0.8
Quit Id to focus on vr tech that only the insanely rich can afford to take full advantage of. I'm not sure why he'd want to do that but good luck i guess.
Some people work on super cars, some people work on designer clothes, is it bad to do something you're passionate about even if the product is exclusive? I1d rather he did something he was passionate about than worry whether or not he'll be missed programming low cost games. That said, VR like Occulus Rift won't be expensive forever.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 25th November 2013 11:36pm

Posted:10 months ago

#18

Steve Wetz
Reviewer/Assistant Editor

213 529 2.5
Exactlty. I already had an appreciation for the creators of Wolfenstein 3D, the Doom series, and the genre they helped birth which still dominates the industry to this day. Then I read Masters of Doom and gained a whole new level of respect for both Carmack and, to a lesser extent, Romero.

Let's keep in mind that another of those huge contributions includes Deathmatch (you're welcome, Call of Duty/Battlefield enthusiasts), the existence of which at the time was extrodinary considering the infrastructure they were working with (freakin modems, amirite?). Carmack also routinely released his own engines for free, even over protests within id that they were potentially losing millions in royalties.

If he brings half the enthusiasm to VR that he displayed at id, we may soon be LIVING there.

Posted:10 months ago

#19

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