John Carmack Becomes Oculus VR CTO – UPDATED


John Carmack of id Software fame has become the Chief Technical Officer at Oculus VR.

Oculus VR, the creator of the Oculus Rift headset, announced today that id Software co-founder John Carmack is the company’s new Chief Technology Officer, and will work “full time” out of its new office in Dallas, Texas.

“The dream of VR has been simmering in the background for decades, but now, the people and technologies are finally aligning to allow it to reach the potential we imagined,” Carmack said in a statement. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said Carmack’s early experiments “put Oculus on the map and helped create an amazing amount of momentum around virtual reality. His technical genius and passion for solving hard problems makes him the ideal CTO.”

Carmack confirmed his new role on the Oculus Kickstarter page, where he wrote, “I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming – the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer’s early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It’s going to be awesome!”

While the email accompanying the press release referred to Carmack as “formerly at id Software,” a Betheseda rep told Gamasutra, “John has long been interested in the work at Oculus VR and wishes to spend time on that project. The technical leadership he provides for games in development at id Software is unaffected.” We’ll update with further details as they become available.

UPDATE: Id Software has confirmed that Carmack is not leaving the studio, tweeting, “Happy to say @ID_AA_Carmack is not leaving id & will continue to provide leadership for our games in development.”

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