Virtual Reality

John Carmack, consulting technical director for Meta’s virtual reality efforts, is leaving

  • Carmack joined Oculus in 2013 as CTO, before it was acquired by Facebook.
  • He is a well-known and respected game designer, who took on a new consultancy position at Oculus in 2019.
  • Often outspokenly critical of Facebook’s progress in augmented reality/virtual reality, Carmack’s release note urged people to “fuck it”.

John Carmackthe consulting CTO of Meta‘s virtual reality efforts, is going away, according to two people familiar with the company.

His exit came on Friday, the people said. Carmack, who openly criticized Meta’s advances in AR and VR, central to his metaverse ambitions, posted on the company’s internal Workplace forum about his decision to leave.

“We built something pretty close to the right thing,” Carmack says in the note, seen by Insider. “The problem is our efficiency.”

Overall, Carmack said he was just “fighting tired” with Meta, formerly known as Facebook, which acquired Oculus in 2014. Despite being one of the best-known VR headsets and the most popular in the market, Meta changed the brand name last. year at Meta Quest. Oculus was founded by Palmer Luckey in 2012, with Carmack becoming its first CTO in 2013.

“I have my own startup to lead, but the fight is always winnable!” Carmack added in his note. “Maybe it’s actually possible to get there by just moving forward with current practices, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. Make better decisions and fill your products with ‘Give a Damn!’ “

A spokesperson for Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Carmack founded Keen Technologies earlier this year and has focused on developing artificial intelligence technologies.

Carmack is one of the most respected names in video games, thanks in large part to his role in co-creating the pioneering “Doom” and “Quake” franchises. This cachet has helped make Carmack one of Meta’s most important ambassadors in selling its vision of virtual and augmented reality to gamers who are also one of its key demographics.

At Meta’s developer conference in October, Carmack hosted an hour-long solo talk on the company’s Oculus or Quest headset. He admitted he had a lot to do “cranky” about, such as the company’s rate of progress on technological advancements and core headset functionality. He said it was frustrating to hear from people inside Meta who found the Quest 2 headsets so unreliable that they refused to use them for work or test them for people outside the company. .

“It pains me to hear people say they don’t even take their headphones out to show the company because they know it will be a mess of loading and updating before they can do anything. cool,” Carmack told The Times. “VR should be fun to demo for your friends.”

Carmack said Meta made some improvements. On Friday, he wrote “Virtual reality can bring value to most people in the world, and no one is better placed to do so than Meta.”

Earlier this year, Carmack recognized that the $100 price increase for the Quest headset happened because the company’s free metaverse apps, from which Meta derives little revenue from in-app purchases, were more popular than its premium games.

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