John Carmack Departs Id Software

John Carmack Departs Id Software

John Carmack

John Carmack, the programming mastermind behind Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and many others, has left id Software.

John Carmack joined Oculus VR as chief technical officer in August but id Software and parent company Bethesda both insisted that his work at the studio would not be affected. That situation has now changed, however, as Tim Willits, studio director at id, has told IGN that Carmack has departed.

"John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio," Willits said. "John's work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects. We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id's tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well."

Carmack co-founded id Software in 1991 with John Romero, Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall. Wolfenstein 3D was the studio's first big title and effectively introduced the FPS genre to the world, but it was Doom and then Quake that were truly influential and changed gaming as we know it. Id hasn't had a hit of that magnitude in years, but Carmack has continued to break ground in other areas: In 2008, his Armadillo Aerospace commercial rocketry company won the $350,000 Level One X-Prize Lunar Lander Challenge, and in 2009 earned $500,000 for claiming second place in the Level Two competition.

Source: IGN


Hopefully he'll be able to do some good in another studio. Id software just isn't the company it used to be. I hope to see another masterpiece with his name on it.

I'm curious to see what he does next, and where.

That's a damned shame. He hasn't left the industry, though, so I'm interested to see where he ends up.

He's a great tech guy, but the impression I've gotten is that he's not exactly helpful- possibly even a hindrance- on the creative end. If id's latest engine is truly finished, it might well be that the company will do better for his departure.

Hopefully id Tech 5 scales with different platforms better than Rage did.

He's going to be concentrating on Oculus and probably spending more time looking for backers to get Armadillo up and running again. I wish him luck.

Well, I guess there goes the one hope everyone had that Bethesda might learn how to code competently someday.

The man's a bonefide genius so I'm sure he'll continue doing genius things with Oculus and whatever else he decides to work on.

That really sucks. It really does seem like id Software has been going along a slow but steady downhill slope ever since Doom 3. I also heard that Doom 4 turned out to be a disaster.

*sigh* Well, what can you do, eh?

Oh wow.... Im pretty shocked at this one. I thought he would stay there forever.

ID has not been the same for me, last game i got was Quake 4 and if i recall that was not 100% ID. I heard DooM4 had to be remade and might be dead. I dont know the guy will still do great things

Im actually quite happy, I mean, he still gets to do what he likes but now without being tied to a company that just isnt what it used to be and even though he is good at what he does (all that tech stuff) his gaming projects are still very dependent on the rest of the team so him working on a more tech focused project probably means a better result overall from him.

I see this as a good move because Id is not the same and is more of a shell of its former self before the Zenimax acquisition, thus slowly going downhill from there. Since all the founders (Carmack, Hall and Romero) are gone, I see darker times ahead that will eventually prove disastrous for the once great company that revolutionized 3D gaming and the FPS genre.

Well after he got rage to run on ipad i was impressed then i played it on pc and lost any impress i had for it.

Good luck to him in either case.

Good maybe they'll actually get some work out the door now instead of having John hold them back spending 3 years on a engine then seeing that technology has moved ahead since starting and scraping the whole thing to start again.
With this news I'm expecting to see more news on Doom 4 rolling out within the next couple months.

What I find most amusing about Carmack hopping on the Oculus Rift crew is that he's one of the first people who discovered that First-Person Shooters can cause motion sickness to some people (as he suffered from this during the development of Wolfenstein), and the Oculus Rift aims to eliminate simulation sickness.

It all goes full-circle, really.

Am I the only one who read this as "ID Software Disbands"? Bethesda now has the name, but all the original talent is gone. Sure their new guys might be great, but they're not ID Software.

Ya, he is working for for the Oculus company as CTO now I think. I believe it's for the best as that's where his interest is currently.

Huh. It's like hearing the Pope left the Catholic Church. When I think of Id, for me, the driving force behind it is John Carmack. I wonder how it will go.

I want the Rift to be great and I'm psyched Carmack is now part of their technical solutions.

While I'm a little worried for Id, I think letting Carmack off his leash for a bit will yield nothing but good things.

This has been on the cards for some time now, but props to Mr Carmack. Thank you for your work on the Quake series. I wish you well in your future endeavours, good sir.

Considering how absolutely awful id tech 5 was, I can only predict how much oculus rift is going to suffer with this guy's hands on it. Don't get me wrong he has really great past's just that after seeing Rage's unskipable first 5 minutes over 20 times I just want to throw my PC out the window when I hear his name.

tbth i suspect this might be because of ZeniMax asserting permanent proprietary ownership of id tech 5.

id engines always used to go "open source" and the folks at id were deeply invested in the philosophy behind that...but ZeniMax have been making statements about the future use of id tech 5 going forward (to the effect that it's "an asset" and they aren't even going to externally licence it never mind let it go "open source") that are basically deeply offensive to those "open source" sensibilities.

given this is basically Johns work i doubt he's very happy about that...

I worked over there for about six months and saw that guy a total of once (at an Indian buffet) and only an occasional e-mail. That was over three years ago, but I never got the sense he was very involved with the company at the time. id was kind of a weird place, anyway.

Goodbye you old goon. Your past endeavours shaped my childhood and like the phoenix may your future projects rise from the ashes and define my young adulthood.


Certainly, he's firmly cemented his play in history. Wolf3D, and Doom/Doom2...I'm not an expert, but I don't think he's done anything remotely that groundbreaking since. I think it's a bit much to expect him to keep producing stuff that innovative, breakthroughs don't come to a schedule, they are, by their nature, unpredictable.

Gilbert Estrada:
He's going to be concentrating on Oculus and probably spending more time looking for backers to get Armadillo up and running again. I wish him luck.

That sounds like something Carmack would do. He's always been that one tech guy and really the reason why Romero and Carmack's Doom was so big back in the day. If anyone can break new ground in entertainment technology, specifically the Oculus VR tech, I wouldn't be surprised if Carmack's name was there in some capacity.


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