Will Oculus Rift Have to Stop Sales After Court Rules in Favor of ZeniMax Media?
We all know a court ruling has ordered Facebook to pay ZeniMax media $500m in damages
The ruling, which was announced by a Dallas jury in February this year sent shockwaves through the tech world. Consumers must now consider the possibility that the Oculus Rift used code stolen from Id Software, a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media Inc, in the initial development of the pioneering device. Also included in the ruling were $200 million in liability judgements against the co-founder of Oculus Palmer Luckey and former Oculus CEO Brendon Iribe for false designation. More than a significant financial loss for Facebook, this case calls in to question the integrity of the Oculus founders. Something bound to cause serious discussion among consumers as they decide which virtual reality device is set to become dominant in this emerging market.
The history of ZeniMax and Oculus is a long and messy story, with this latest conflict only set to make things worse.
Does this also mean they have to stop sales of the Oculus Rift?
Almost definitely not.
Almost two months after the court’s ruling Oculus has continued to push its VR experience and with the support of social media giant Facebook, shows no signs of slowing down. While the courts did award extensive damages to ZeniMax, none of the penalties levied against Oculus will require Facebook to cease any sales of the Oculus Rift. In fact, if last year’s Oculus Connect 3 Opening Keynote is anything to go by, we can expect incredible things from Oculus in the near future as the platform seeks new and innovative ways to utilize VR technology
Facebook recently announced a $500m investment into VR development for the Oculus platform in a move set to encourage massive innovation across the virtual reality industry.
How will this ruling impact both companies?
This court case looks to have caused serious tension between the two companies. With Oculus having already confirmed their intention to appeal the ruling, which is sure to drag the case out even further.
But Oculus hasn’t been content to sit on the defensive, instead they have begun legal proceedings of their own. John Carmak, who was accused of stealing code during his time at ZeniMax has since issued his own law suit against ZeniMax worth $22.5 million. Not only that but Carmack also issued a scathing post trial rebuttal of the prosecutions expert witness, stating that “I just wanted to shout “You lie!”. By the end”. You can read the rest of his statement here. However, without the publication of the expert report it’s impossible to verify these claims.
No matter which side you’re on, it’s clear that as Oculus begins the appeals process neither company has come out entirely unscathed by this lawsuit. It will be interesting to see how future sales figures from both entertainment giants are effected by the public backlash.
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