ZeniMax Media and Facebook have reached a settlement in their long-running litigation, effectively ending the legal drama. This news follows shortly after Id designer John Carmack announced that his own personal legal dispute against ZeniMax had ended.
In the announcement from ZeniMax, the company said it settled its litigation against Facebook and Oculus. The terms of the settlement weren’t shared. ZeniMax chairman and CEO Robert Altman said, “We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome. While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties.”
ZeniMax alleged that John Carmack had worked on VR while employed at Id Software–which was owned by ZeniMax–and then taken it to Oculus for the development of the Oculus Rift. Facebook was brought into the suit since it bought Oculus in 2014.
The company was seeking $2 billion in damages and another $4 billion in punitive damages. The court awarded ZeniMax $500 million in damages. That included $250 million from Oculus, $100 million from former CEO Brandon Iribe, and $50 million from founder Palmer Luckey. Facebook itself was found not liable. That figure was later reduced to $250 million, and Oculus continued to appeal.
ZeniMax also filed suit in 2017 against Samsung VR. That suit alleged that Carmack had worked with Matt Hooper, another former ZeniMax employee, to develop mobile VR. Then, the suit alleges, Oculus took that suit to Samsung. The settlement doesn’t specify any further developments to the Samsung litigation, but given that it has settled with Carmack and Oculus in recent months, that branch of the suit may be wrapping up as well.
Oculus has continued to develop as its own business within Facebook, recently releasing the Oculus Go. For more on what the sudden advent of consumer virtual reality has brought, check out our look back at VR in 2018.