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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
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9,522 backers pledged $2,437,429 to help bring this project to life.

John Carmack Joins Oculus as CTO

Posted by Oculus (Creator)

We have incredible news to share with the community: legendary game programmer John Carmack will be officially joining the Oculus team as our new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

John is one of the brightest minds of our generation -- pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can.

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!”

If you’re unfamiliar with John’s background, John co-founded id Software, served as lead programmer on Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and the Quake series, and is one of the pioneers of 3D graphics. When John’s not working on revolutionizing video games or computer graphics, he can be found coding at Armadillo Aerospace.

If you’ve been following Oculus since the launch of the Kickstarter campaign (or before that on MTBS3D), you know that John has been a part of the project and a true believer in the future of virtual reality since the beginning. He was the first developer to actually integrate the Rift into a game, back when the hardware was just a hand-held prototype without an SDK.

Palmer, Michael Abrash (Valve), and John discuss virtual reality at QuakeCon 2012.

John will be working from the new Oculus Dallas office that we’re opening soon. We’re looking for a few key hires to help us in Dallas, so if you’re interested, check out the Oculus Careers page.

You can follow John at @ID_AA_Carmack on Twitter. Please join us in welcoming John to the Oculus family!

Happy anniversary to our Kickstarter backers! We've come a long a way in 1 year, and we can't wait to show you where we're headed next. This is just the beginning.

-- Palmer, John and the Oculus team


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    1. Johan Munkestam on

      For anyone that has followed Oculus from the start this was almost expected and fully makes sense - and good news for Oculus indeed.

    2. Heri Sim

      Which paradigms are being crowdsourced?

    3. Missing avatar

      Sergey on

      Great success, Palmer! :)

    4. Missing avatar

      @nthony on

      remember this at E3?…
      when John was just talking about a misshapen duck-tapped prototype of which he was holding the only copy in his hands that didn't quite really work yet and still had parallex/fish-eye issues?

      seeing in come complete circle likes this is phenomenal. congrats OVR, congrats JC, good things are going to continue to happen.

    5. Linus Björnlund on

      Holy shit! Congrats to, well, all of us! Extremely good news!

    6. David Ross Watson on

      Well that came out of friggin' nowhere didn't it? :P
      Damn Oculus, you've got to learn to ease us into awesomeness of this level.

      Congrats to John and the company. This is an incredible win for VR.
      John, would you mind clarifying how this will impact your time commitments with id?

    7. iFreak on

      Ok, where can I buy some shares of Oculus? :-p

      By the way - really great news - JC rocks! :-)

      Greetings from Germany!

    8. Xiaoyi Zhang on

      我了个去! 喜大普奔

    9. David Sirland on

      Sooo goood! Give me retail kit nooow :)

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      Krom on

      Fck yeah! Welcome aboard!

    11. Rae O'Neil on

      Mind blown. Amazing news! And such a perfect fit :) And Carmack gets to work at a startup again and do what he loves!

      Very excited about these news.

    12. ET3D on

      Oh, wow! That just blew my mind. I hope this means there are great things in store for the Rift and VR in general.

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      Mikkel D on

      Congratulations! Great news.

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      Bart Kok on

      Fantastic news!! Love his work, it's great he joins Oculus VR!

    15. Apocoplay LLC on

      The Rift brings out a sense of childlike wonder that I haven't felt since Carmack's old tech pushed the boundaries of what was thought to be impossible. You guys have something that feels truly innovative in the sense that it's breathing new life into the future of gaming. Hearing that the father of gaming's past is ensuring the success of its future is heartwarming.

    16. Court Rye on

      This is the most amazing, positive and future changing press release I've seen in the past five years. Thank you so much John.

    17. Old Man on

      Great news! Congrats John on your new role. Looking forward to what you can bring to the Oculus team (besides native idTech6 support?). Now, if you wanna get the band back together and convince Abrash to join as well....

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      Nolan on

      Thank you jebus

    19. Missing avatar

      Che on

      Fuck yeah!!!

    20. ptnik on

      Amazing news! Hope having John onboard will help crack open some new doors (official support from the new generation of game consoles? ;) as well as turn the public version of the Rift into the best it can be.

      How are the tests with the high resolution screens going? :)

    21. Mario Basiola on

      This is insanely great!

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      Miranda on

      Great news. The consumer model is going to be amazing.

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      Marcus Hast on

      Wow... Well that should remove any doubt from the people who were interpreting his silence on Oculus Rift since Doom 3 BFG shipped as him being skeptical of the progress. :-)

      I hope this means that he will have an opportunity to give us more in depth technical information in the future. Is a QuakeCon keynote style video per month too much to hope for? ;-)

    24. Darkling on

      Great news hopefully he doesn't try to pull any kind of iOS shenanigans

    25. Hugo Tremblay on

      Well we sure as hell didn't see that one coming!

      Hopefully this means proper Rift support for Doom 3 soon! :-)

    26. Brett Camper on

      Wow, incredible news.

    27. Andrei Shevtsov on

      That's huge. Big fan of John's work. Congratulations!

    28. Cesare Piccolo on

      Are you kidding Oculus? That cannot be serious! That's FREAKING AWESOME news!!! I can't believe it!!!!!!

    29. Andreas Aronsson on

      WHAT THE BANANASAUCE? Like said, will he still be working for ID? Doom 4 w00t? Not complaining that he's joining Oculus, just wondering how on earth this could happen! O.o There has to have been some kind of release agreement from ID's side! Haha. Well, what do I know about US working regulations / laws / policies. Anyway, this is INCREDIBLY exciting! I cannot even... think... the... gah! *brainsplosion*

    30. Alkapwn on

      This may very well be the best update so far! Wow. I think in my mind I always just assumed this was happening behind the scenes anyways. Now that it's real, SO exciting!

    31. Richard Perrin on

      Is John still working at ID as well? It's not clear from the post if this is full time position for him.

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      Timo on

      Wow, amazing!

    33. Ali-John Sondossi on

      Awesome news! Can't wait to see what you guys cook up in the future!

    34. Karl Friedrich on

      Bright is the future - what a fantastic news for all VR enthusiasts!