Facebook’s ZeniMax Lawsuit Payout Halved To $250 Million

by Jamie Feltham • June 28th, 2018

The $500 million a court ordered Oculus owner Facebook to pay ZeniMax Media last year has been halved to $250 million in a new ruling.

A US judge also this week rejected ZeniMax’s request to have sales of the Oculus Rift banned, Bloomberg reports.

ZeniMax, parent company of videogame publisher and developer Bethesda, took Facebook to court last year over an alleged theft of technology. The company claimed that Oculus CTO John Carmack had used Bethesda’s resources when collaborating with Rift inventor Palmer Luckey in the early days of Oculus and stolen technology when he moved to the VR company from Bethesda-owned id Software in 2013. id was the first developer to work with Oculus, showcasing a VR version of Doom 3 running on a very early prototype of the Rift at E3 2012. ZeniMax filed the lawsuit after Facebook bought Oculus for what’s thought to be around $3 billion in 2014.

After a lengthy court battle, which saw Carmack, Luckey and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg take the stand, a judge ordered Facebook to pay Bethesda $500 million. Carmack later took to Facebook to argue that the internet would have “viciously mocked” the analysis given in court.

Facebook vowed to appeal the decision at the time and, this Wednesday, 16 months on from the ruling, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade wiped out $250 million from the ruling, including damages leveled at Luckey and Oculus co-founder and former CEO, Brendan Iribe.

But Facebook isn’t stopping there; Vice President Paul Grewal confirmed to Bloomberg that the company still intends to appeal the remaining $250 million, adding: “We’ve said from day one the ZeniMax case is deeply flawed, and today the court agreed. Our commitment to Oculus is unwavering and we will continue to invest in building the future of VR.”

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