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Here's the real reason why John Carmack left id Software

By Shawn Knight ยท 17 replies
Feb 5, 2014
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  1. John Carmack sent shockwaves through the gaming community last November when he abruptly decided to part ways with the company he helped create to take a full-time position with Oculus VR. None of the parties involved ever gave a reason...

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  2. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I totally understand John Carmack's decision and applaud him for sticking to what's best for him and making the move. He makes a good argument that his particular talents of optimizing code isn't greatly needed at iD since games have a supercomputer's wealth of processing power these days. The challenge of optimizing a device to gain a few milliseconds of performance and in turn creating an apparent and obvious improvement would appeal to such a man as John Carmack.
  3. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    Well Zenimax dumped a ton of money into The Elder Scrolls Online and that's going to flop so if they're risk-averse now, just wait until that hammer drops.
  4. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 609   +109

    I'd buy the OR for Mirror's Edge 1 and 2 alone. Throw in a new Doom title and I'll never leave my computer again. Or heck, why not Outlast? Ok, maybe creepy mutated naked psychos with fully erect schlongs might be a bit much for VR. But the potential, oh the potential. :(
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    So he left because he wanted to do something and the company didn't. Said in another way, the artist wanted to make what's cool, and the company wanted to make what'll sell. Making what's cool is fun 'n all, but if it doesn't pay the bills then it's not a good idea. People are NOT going to want to wear some giant expensive VR thing on their head while they play games. Remember the Microsoft Illumiroom? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ4hWa6y710) Too expensive. Look at how much people on this site even complain about the Kinect. I don't see wearable VR taking off.
    davislane1 likes this.
  6. rub900

    rub900 TS Member Posts: 76   +6

    I would have bought a new doom game. Course I am an old fart.
  7. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,886   +1,034

    Sometimes, life is about taking risks... not playing it safe.
    gingerbill likes this.
  8. NeoFlux

    NeoFlux TS Booster Posts: 103   +12

    I'd buy one.
  9. Night Hacker

    Night Hacker TS Enthusiast Posts: 125   +20

    He has always been at the forefront of technology, pushing the limits and developing new ideas. It's how he has made money doing what he loves and giving us all some amazing software. Now he sees an opportunity to take it in a new direction. I don't know why they would not want to support him, he has a proven track record.
  10. He hasn't been relevant for 10 years, no big loss.
  11. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,263   +454

    That's like saying Babbage isn't relevant. You wouldn't be where you are today if it wasn't for him... or Carmack for that matter if you're a gamer.
    gingerbill and MilwaukeeMike like this.
  12. His leaving has no effect, his non existence would have changed the gaming industry. If Mick Jagger died today it would not be blow to music, his good stuff has already been made.
  13. Looks to me all that really happened is he finally broke the mind control device zenimax used to turn him into a corporate shill.
  14. Agree with this
  15. For a couple hunder $ I'll buy one too. In fact it's hard to control myself not to order dev version OR :)
  16. Revolution 11

    Revolution 11 TS Enthusiast Posts: 40

    Wow, never expected so many guests to be so cynical.

    While Carmack has not done amazing things for the last decade perhaps, he is still relevant in the gaming industry, if not for his legacy, then for his innovative, detail-oriented ideas. Just listen to a few of his convention lectures during QuakeCon or E3.

    If ZeniMax will not use his talents properly for Doom 4 and Wolfenstein, good riddance to them. I look forward to his progress on Oculus Rift.
  17. MashoBosatsu

    MashoBosatsu TS Rookie

    No. He "artist" wanted to create the future, they "company" wanted to create what's safe. Maybe the future is always cool, according to some, not necessarily so. What is safe isn't the way to "cash in", possibly a conservative (or uninformed) demographic will share some cash with you, but each blockbuster product/game was radical, or original, at its presentation - and then was cloned 10,000 times and the meme became common and mundane.
    It sells until there is something that is not "that", and then everyone moves on. (examples abound on these forums)

    Don't say money so often like it's your jesus christ, or ibrahim. It's not a destination it's a crude medium. Money is not a goal, not for "company", read some drucker, porter, reaching the future is the destination.
    Better to have stuck with your so called "artist".
  18. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    Money is always the goal, albeit often indirectly. There's even a famous book they make you read in business school called The Goal, and in it, the goal is to make money. Money and the future are hand in hand, if you don't make money, you won't be the future, you'll be the past. Remember Solyndra? They were the future of solar panels, but they didn't make money. Now they're in the past. Compare to Tesla, who also looks like the future, but they are making money... and when the future becomes the present, they'll be in it.

    If this company wants to be around in the future they need to make money, and they don't think VR is going to do it for them. You could argue that the future is built on failure and learning from mistakes, and without trial and error we wouldn't be where we are today. And you'd be right. Maybe in order to get everyone using VR for gaming we need someone to take the first step. But if you don't believe it will EVER make money, then there's no point in it.

    Money isn't Jesus, it shouldn't be worshiped. But you still need it. If you don't have it you can't pay your employees. And unless you're running a cult, they're not going to stick around to be part of your brilliant future.

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