Facebook will need to find a new engineering leader at Oculus. John Carmack, who joined Oculus in 2013, has confirmed he’s exiting the company to work on other projects. He’ll continue to collaborate with Facebook and Oculus on a consulting basis, but most of Carmack’s attention will shift to ‘artificial general intelligence’ outside of Menlo Park.
“I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn’t in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old.”
Constant changes at Oculus — Carmack’s departure is the latest shakeup at Oculus, which pushed out co-founder Palmer Luckey in 2017 and watched co-founder Nate Mitchell leave earlier this year. Oculus also lost another co-founder last year, Brendan Iribe, who had been leading the company since 2014.
Other executives left throughout Carmack’s tenure, but he remained a constant at the helm of developing Oculus’ software. Carmack joined Oculus after co-creating iD software, the video game developer behind Doom and Rage, and stuck around at Oculus after Facebook acquired the startup.
During his time at Oculus, Carmack encouraged the company to explore mobile-based virtual reality. Oculus released the Gear VR with Samsung, and eventually that concept expanded with the introduction of the Go and the Quest. With the Quest, high-end games can be played without any wires attached to another machine.