One round of the Oculus lawsuit may be over, but the saga isn’t going away.
Oculus CTO John Carmack is now suing ZeniMax Media for breaching his asset purchase agreement. He claims that in February, he notified ZeniMax that he sought to covert the $22 million balance still owed by the company to him into common stock shares, which he planned to sell back to ZeniMax to fully cash out. He alleges that ZeniMax has subsequently
“made it clear that the company would not voluntarily comply on a timely basis with the conversion notice. The content and tone of the letter also made it clear that ZeniMax was unlikely to comply with its obligations under the shareholders’ agreement by either buying the offered shares or notifying the other shareholders of their right to purchase them.”
According to Carmack, ZeniMax has intimated it’s refusing to pay Carmack’s owed balance because of — you guessed it — Carmack’s supposed violation of his employment agreement as alleged in Bethsoft’s lawsuit against Oculus, which named Carmack as a lead actor in theft of trade secrets. ZeniMax was awarded half a billion dollars in that lawsuit for Oculus’ breach of an NDA and copyright infringement, but the jury did not find Oculus misappropriated trade secrets, and ZeniMax apparently did not raise the breach of contract during the trial.
In other words, ZeniMax seems to be suggesting Carmack broke the contract already and isn’t entitled to the remaining $22 million. “Sour grapes,” the lawsuit colloquially calls it. “So sue us,” we can imagine ZeniMax shrugging. Everybody loses!
Carmack seeks his $22 million, potentially to double if ZeniMax delays past its June deadline.