Home Gaming Bethesda bosses suing Oculus for VR theft

Bethesda bosses suing Oculus for VR theft

1 min read


Zenimax, the company that owns Bethesda and iD software is suing the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality purveyor Rift VR, saying it’s stolen the company’s work. that’s in addition to them stealing one of the gaming industry’s most prolific tech gurus, John Carmack.

They say that the VR company has misappropriated trade secrets, stolen code, breached contracts and just generally been a bunch of low-life, IP stealing jerks.

“The suit arises from the defendants’ unlawful exploitation of intellectual property, including trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology that was developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment,” says the filing.

“ZeniMax provided this valuable intellectual property to defendants under a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement that specifies such intellectual property is owned exclusively by ZeniMax and cannot be used, disclosed, or transferred to third parties without ZeniMax’s approval. ZeniMax’s intellectual property has provided the fundamental technology driving the Oculus Rift since its inception. Nevertheless, the defendants refused all requests from ZeniMax for reasonable compensation and continue to use ZeniMax’s intellectual property without authorization.”

“All efforts by ZeniMax to resolve this matter amicably have been unsuccessful. Oculus has recently issued a public statement remarkably claiming that "ZeniMax has never contributed IP or technology to Oculus." Meanwhile, Luckey has held himself out to the public as the visionary developer of virtual reality technology, when in fact the key technology Luckey used to establish Oculus was developed by ZeniMax.”

That’s quite a bold claim. Zenimax claims then, that the only reason that the Rift even works is because of technology developed by Zenimax, which was then stolen. I find that hard to believe; if this was the case, then the whole suit should have been filed way back when Rift was trying to get the Oculus kickstarted – and not now when the whole thing’s coming to fruition.

It all seems like sour grapes after losing Carmack, though there may be far more to this than we, as outsiders, realise.

Last Updated: May 22, 2014


  1. Admiral Chief in Space

    May 22, 2014 at 10:03

    • Unavengedavo

      May 22, 2014 at 10:09

      Bunch of sour grape… fruits O_o


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 22, 2014 at 10:13

    I’m interested to see how this plays out. It’s a really big claim, so it would need pretty major documentation to back it up. If they don’t have it Zenimax will look like complete tools, but if they do then the plucky underdog is screwed.


    • Viking Of Science

      May 22, 2014 at 10:17

      Even If Zenimax Win, It’ll hurt they’re Public Image…. It’s a lose / lose situation. And why Sue Oculus VR and not Sony, Project Morpheus is a thing.


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        May 22, 2014 at 10:24

        I doubt it’ll hurt them much in the long run if it’s proven to be true. At the moment everyone’s raging because the big bad corporate is bullying the cool little indie. If they’re actually correct then Oculus don’t get to make massive Facebook deals without Zenimax getting their cut.

        As to why not sue Sony too, who knows? I don’t know anything about how Morpheus works, but if it’s based on Oculus tech then they just might get sued too.


        • Kromas

          May 22, 2014 at 10:28

          Sony did not use Skyrim as their Test platform and thus Zenimax can’t sue them.


    • Skyblue

      May 24, 2014 at 10:24

      2 billion reasons to suddenly claim IP.


  3. Tortoise

    May 22, 2014 at 10:18

    It actually makes perfect sense that a lawsuit has come up now straight after the Facebook buyout – when they are loaded and rolling around in money.


  4. Kromas

    May 22, 2014 at 10:18

    Okay as I understand it.
    1.) Rift dev kits were built using Zenimax games as the test platform
    2.) Carmack started assisting them as well.
    3.) This means that if it was not for Zenimax games then the Rift would not exist
    4.) WTF?

    It is basically like the government laying claim over a new car technology because the car was tested on a public road.



  5. Spathi

    May 22, 2014 at 10:20

    ” I find that hard to believe; if this was the case, then the whole suit should have been filed way back when Rift was trying to get the Oculus kickstarted – and not now when the whole thing’s coming to fruition.”

    How I interpret it is that Oculus was allowed to use it and develop it, but not allowed to transfer any of that to a third party; the third party being Facebook. That’s why they only filed now.


    • Admiral Chief in Space

      May 22, 2014 at 10:23

      Easy, back then there was no financial gain for it


      • Spathi

        May 22, 2014 at 10:48

        But the technology was worth something, not nearly what it was now though. They want compensation only for what they provided.


        • Kromas

          May 22, 2014 at 10:50

          Rift guys stated that all they used from Zenimax was their games (modified ofc with the help of Zenimax) and their expertise in the form of Carmack. The physical equipment aka the Rift has no parts belonging to Zenimax. I see no reason for them to win this case.


          • Spathi

            May 22, 2014 at 10:53

            Yeah I don’t know details, only wanted to respond to Geoff’s question about why they only sued now and not during the Kickstarter.

          • Kromas

            May 22, 2014 at 10:58

            Admiral Chief pretty much hit that spot on.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            May 22, 2014 at 11:10

            Indeed, that’s what she said


            Ok, I’ll stop….for now

  6. Maxiviper117

    May 22, 2014 at 10:31

    Maybe they waited will Oculus got big before trying to sue to get more $$$$$ 😉


  7. RinceofFuturePast

    May 22, 2014 at 10:36

    I am sure they have $1 billion reasons to sue them


    • Admiral Chief in Space

      May 22, 2014 at 10:42



  8. Joe Black

    May 22, 2014 at 11:07

    I wonder in the end if Oculus VR’s greatest mistake will be to have hired Carmack. Wouldn’t that just make this an effed up world?.. Where the pioneers of the gaming industry are being held by their balls by a bunch of corporate patent whores.

    Zenimax must go screw themselves. I’ve already been boycotting them for quite a while in my games purchases. More people might just decide to do the same.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Dutch film director believes Capcom stole his monster design for Resident Evil: Village

While the actual design of the creature isn’t especially complicated, I’d be lying if I sa…