As Facebook has become a shared reality for users worldwide to communicate with friends and family, the company is about to enter a new era: virtual reality. However, the transition to the growingly sophisticated, fully immersive technology has been anything but smooth.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg replaced his trademark hoodie for a shirt and tie in his appearance before a Texas Court. He was there to do more than defend the reputation of his company. Zuckerberg was also validating the importance of virtual reality that goes beyond gaming and represents the future of social interaction at virtually all levels.
An Alleged Game Of Corporate Espionage
Zuckerberg sees a future where Facebook leads the pack in providing access to real-time activities ranging from poker games to teleconferencing. However, the founder first had to defend his company against accusations of participating in corporate theft, employee poaching and an attempted cover-up.
Two years after Oculus VR Inc.’s Rift virtual reality headset was announced via Kickstarter in 2012, Facebook purchased the company for $2 billion. The headset remained in development prior to going on sale in 2016.
The Reality Of An Ex-Employee’s Possible Betrayal
ZeniMax Media Inc., best known for the “Doom” video game, alleges that an ex-employee facilitated the theft of trade secrets and confidential information in 2013. The game publisher also claims they have proof that Oculus covered up their wrongdoing by destroying evidence.
The former staffer and current Oculus CTO John Carmack faces accusations of not only stealing code, but also recruiting ZeniMax employees, a violation of a severance agreement.
ZeniMax Disliking Facebook
ZeniMax also has its sights set on Facebook, claiming that the company ignored signs that Oculus was not truthful about its technology. They cited a text conversation between Zuckerberg and a Facebook employee suggesting that the founder encouraged his deputy to ignore the concerns over Oculus’ truthfulness and push through with the deal.
Facebook denies the allegations and claims that the lawsuit was motivated by the acquisition deal and motivated by the future value that Oculus would enjoy.