Oculus CTO John Carmack has sued his former employer, ZeniMax Media, for alleged breach of contract.
In the lawsuit, filed Tuesday, Carmack alleges he owes more than $22.5 million as part of the 2009 deal in which ZeniMax Media bought id Software. Carmack co-founded id Software in 1991, which Wolfenstein, mischief, quake, and a number of other legendary video game titles. He left id Software in 2013 and quickly joined Oculus.
Carmack, Oculus and ZeniMax Media have been engaged in an ongoing legal battle for years over questions surrounding the development of the Oculus VR headset. ZeniMax sued Oculus in 2014 for misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement and breach of contract, among other charges. The civil lawsuit went to trial earlier this year and resulted in a jury finding that Oculus was liable for $300 million. Carmack, who was charged with stealing code and destroying evidence, was found not to be personally liable for any damages. ZeniMax had claimed $6 billion in damages in the case. Oculus, which promised to appeal, has not yet done so.
The new civil suit says ZeniMax agreed to pay $150 million in installments to acquire id Software.
“As the final installment comes out of that bill, ZeniMax is simply refusing to pay,” Carmack’s lawyers argue in the indictment. “But sour grapes is not an affirmative defense against breach of contract. This court should rule against ZeniMax for all the money it agreed to pay Mr. Carmack for the sale of his former company.”
ZeniMax did not respond to Ars’ request for comment, but the Dallas Morning News released a statement Thursday from an unnamed spokeswoman who said Carmack’s claims were “completely baseless.”
“Apparently it lacks remorse and disregards the evidence of his many disloyal acts and violations of the law, and Mr. Carmack has decided to try again,” the statement continued.