Oculus Cofounder Blasts ZeniMax Over Soured Partnership In Court
The former CEO and cofounder of Oculus Brendan Iribe has taken the stand in the legal battle between the VR giant and videogame publisher ZeniMax, revealing that the relationship between the two companies soured only months after working together to showcase the VR headset.
He said that Bethesda Softworks’ president Vlatko Andonov called the Oculus team “kids” and threatened to stop then-id Software CTO John Carmack from working on anything else VR related if Oculus didn’t sign a partnership deal.
The deal in question would have seen them obtain a 15 percent equity in Oculus.
Iribe described Andonov as condescending.
The meeting between the two teams was arranged after Iribe proposed offering ZeniMax 2% equity for allowing Carmack to engage in a technical advisor role.
As reported last week, ZeniMax, who are pursuing US$2 billion in damages, claim that former-employee John Carmack stole intellectual property when he left the company to join Oculus in 2013.
Iribe and Oculus attorneys adamantly stated that no ZeniMax code was involved with the headset they brought to market, as the new sensor built by Oculus would be incompatible with anything Carmack had shared under NDA early in 2012.
The former-CEO went on to say that while Carmack’s advice was valuable, it was not gospel and they didn’t always agree with him on specific solutions.
When pushed on the point, he admitted said that he saw no problem in taking such advice.
According to ZeniMax, Facebook was aware that Oculus had stolen intellectual property for its VR headset Rift when it acquired the company in 2014.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified earlier in the week, saying “we are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology.”
Iribe stepped down from his role as CEO and was put in charge of Oculus’ PC division following a company-wide restructuring in December.