John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Meta’s VR Efforts, Is Leaving

John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Meta’s VR Efforts, Is Leaving

  • Carmack joined Oculus as CTO in 2013, prior to its acquisition by Facebook.
  • He is a well-known and respected game designer, who moved to a new consulting role at Oculus in 2019.
  • Often openly critical of Facebook’s progress in AR/VR, Carmack’s exit note urged people to “care about it.”

John Carmack, the consulting CTO for Meta’s virtual-reality efforts, is leaving, according to two people familiar with the company.

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

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

Overall, Carmack said he was simply “tired of the battle” with Meta, formerly known as Facebook, which Oculus acquired in 2014. Despite being one of the best known and more popular VR headsets on the market, Meta last changed the brand name years after Meta Quest. Oculus was founded in 2012 by Palmer Luckey with Carmack acting as its first CTO in 2013.

“I started my own to run, but the battle is still winnable!” Carmack added in his note. “Maybe it’s actually possible to get there by just plowing ahead with current practices, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. Make better decisions and infuse your products with ‘Give a Damn!'”

A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment. Carmack did not respond to a request for comment. Earlier this year, he founded Keen Technologies, a company focused on developing AI technology.

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

During Meta’s developer conference in October, Carmack gave an hour-long solo talk about the company’s Oculus or Quest headset. He admitted that he has many things to be “grumpy” about, such as the company’s progress with technological advancements and the basic functionality of the headsets. 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 demonstrate them to people outside the company.

“It hurts me to hear people say they won’t even get their headset out to show off at the company because they know it’s going to be a mess of charging and updating before they can get it to do something cool,” Carmack said. said. the time. “VR should be a joy to demonstrate to your friends.”

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

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

Are you a Meta employee or someone else with insight to share? Do you have a tip? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected] or through the secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267. Reach out with a non-working device. Twitter DM at @hayskali.

Contact Ashley Stewart via email ([email protected]) or send a secure message from a non-work device via Signal (+1-425-344-8242).

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