Oculus VR, the company behind the highly anticipated virtual reality gaming headset Oculus Rift, has announced that legendary game programmer John Carmack is joining the team as Chief Technology Officer. Carmack co-founded id Software, where he has led development of a number of popular gaming franchises, including Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake. He will remain with id Software, although Oculus will be his primary focus for the time being.
John put together a short note for the Oculus community:
“I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming – the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer’s early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It’s going to be awesome!”
Oculus Rift raised nearly $2.5 million in a Kickstarter campaign ending last September, with the company delivering thousands of prototype headsets to developers to help them build games for the system. A consumer launch for the headset is rumored for next year, although the company has refrained from committing to a specific timeline.
While some have suspected that console gaming might be an area of interest for Oculus, the company indicates that beyond PC gaming it is also focusing on mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, with the rapid pace of innovation in mobile serving as a distinct draw compared to the much longer development cycles on console platforms.