John Carmack, a tech industry titan known for his work on virtual reality and classic games like Demise and Earthquakeresigns his role as advisory CTO at Meta, according to Business Insider and The New York Times.
At the time he said he would be working on Artificial General Intelligence – in August we learned that work would not be for Meta, but rather his new startup Keen Technologies. Carmack had spent about 20 percent of his time on Meta, he tweeted in August.
“Apparently I’m not convincing enough”
Based on messages he left internally at Meta, he appears to be dissatisfied with the way things are going in VR. He reportedly wrote that things have been a “struggle” for him, and that while “I have a voice here at the highest level, it feels like I should be able to move things along, but I’m clearly not convincing enough,” The New York Times reported.
“We built something pretty close to the right thing,” Carmack reportedly wrote of the Quest 2. He also apparently said he was “tired of battling” with Meta, which burns billions in its Reality Labs division to build things like VR headsets. and software for his vision of the metaverse. Carmack would also write internal messages criticizing the decision making of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and CTO Andrew Bosworth. The New York Times said.
It’s not the first time Carmack has expressed public dissatisfaction with Meta’s priorities for VR. The company also dropped its mobile efforts with the Samsung Gear VR – “we missed an opportunity,” he said at the time – and the low-cost Oculus Go, both of which were its projects.
He was also remarkably candid about his frustrations in his unscripted speech on Meta Connect in October, saying in virtual reality “there’s a couple I’m grumpy about”. He pointed out how difficult it is for users to update headsets quickly, and seemed very skeptical about progress with Horizon Worlds as a social platform and about Meta’s decision to raise prices for the Quest and $1,500 Quest Pro. “I’ve always made it clear that I’m all for the cost-effective mass market headsets being the most important thing for us and for the adoption of VR,” he said.
You can watch that full unwritten talk below.
Meta and Carmack did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Carmack will now apparently focus his efforts on Keen Technologies.