One of the video game industry's highest profile publishers is accusing Oculus of stealing its intellectual property to create the Rift virtual reality headset.
ZeniMax Media filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dallas, saying Oculus and founder Palmer Luckey "commercially exploited" ZeniMax computer code and trade secrets for their own gain. And it was that software that led to the $2 billion purchase of Oculus by Facebook in March
"Throughout 2012, Oculus and Luckey lacked the necessary expertise and technical know-how to create a viable virtual reality headset," ZeniMax says in the filing. "In the months following E3 , Oculus and Luckey sought that expertise and know-how from ZeniMax. Without it, there would not have been a viable Rift product."
ZeniMax maintains it has invested tens of millions of dollars into the research and development of VR technologies—mainly through John Carmack's experiments with the field when he was an employee at Zenimax subsidiary id Software.
Carmack left ZeniMax and id Software last year to become chief technology officer at Oculus.
Oculus issued a release denying the claims. "The lawsuit filed by ZeniMax has no merit whatsoever. As we have previously said, ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology. Oculus will defend these claims vigorously."