John Carmack, co-founder of id Software and current Oculus CTO, has filed a federal lawsuit against Zenimax, seeking upwards of $22.5 million in damages, but could walk away with up to $45 million if the case goes in his favor.
According to Dallas News, the amount sought in damages equals what Carmack claims is still owed to him by Zenimax from the company’s 2009 purchase of id Software. That $22.5 million currently sits in a promissory note, issued by Zenimax shortly after the sale.
Carmack says he recently tried to convert that note into Zenimax stock, effectively doubling his shares in the company, and then sell the sum for the $45 per share put option agreed upon at the time of the original id Software sale. That guaranteed per share price is set to expire later this year.
All together, that would have required Zenimax to pay Carmack roughly $45.1 million for the stocks, but the lawsuit says Zenimax “made it clear that the company would not voluntarily comply on a timely basis wit the conversion notice” and is as such in violation of the asset purchase agreement between the two companies.
In addition to the $22.5 million sought in damages, the lawsuit also wants Zenimax to let Carmack sell his stocks in the company under the terms originally agreed upon.
The lawsuit further alleges that Zenimax’s actions are a result of the recent, and in some ways yet ongoing, legal battle between itself and Oculus. Zenimax was ultimately awarded $500 million in that previous ruling, to be paid on the charges of NDA violations, copyright, infringement, and false designation, though Oculus has stated its plans to appeal