Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset, said this week that it has brought in video game legend John Carmack to serve as chief technology officer.
Carmack, 42, co-founded game developer id Software in 1990 and was lead programmer for groundbreaking titles like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake.
He also founded and serves as lead engineer for Texas-based space startup Armadillo Aerospace, which in recent years participated in several stages of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge and worked with Planetary Adventures on developing a sub-orbital commercial aircraft, but is currently in "hibernation mode," according to Carmack.
Carmack joins Oculus a few months after the startup secured $16 million (£10.3 million) in funding from Spark Capital and Matrix Partners, which the company said at the time it would use to make new hires, as well experiment with more cutting-edge technology, and "build a badass, consumer VR gaming platform, the likes of which the world has never seen," according to co-founder Palmer Luckey.
"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," Luckey said in a blog post announcing Carnack's hiring.
Carmack introduced himself to his new Oculus VR colleagues and supporters of the startup with the following note:
"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, based in Southern California, said Carmack will be working at new offices in Dallas which the startup plans to open soon.