Recently an article appeared on Kotaku authored by Morgan Jaffit who is calling for a boycott of Zenimax over their recent lawsuit victory and subsequent injunction attempt against Facebook and Oculus VR technology. I’m here to call bullshit.
The Facebook / Zenimax lawsuit started when ex-Zenimax employee, John Carmack, was hired to work on Oculus. You see John Carmack also worked on VR technology for Zenimax too. While the details of intellectual property can be less than black and white, Zenimax made it pretty clear that they intended to protect their secrets. They weren’t going to stand by while an ex-employee took Zenimax’s work and shared it with the competition and they have a right to. So began the lawsuit which was won in a $500 million victory. In short the courts concluded that a violation was committed and rewarded Zenimax. Immediately after this victory Zenimax sought an injunction to completely halt the sell of Oculus.
Now with the history out of the way, Kotaku writer, Morgan Jaffit, seems to think Zenimax is the bad guy here and we should punish their behavior with a boycott. Let me explain to you why they are wrong:
As a developer I don’t want my work stolen and then used by a competitor against me. I do expect the courts to uphold my rights and protect me from such thieves, which is exactly what’s happened here. Justice has been served in my opinion. You see Facebook / Oculus should have known better than to get involved in such a potential legal mess in the first place. I suppose Facebook may have thought they were too big to be touched and were going to do whatever it took to get the edge on the VR market. I also suppose Morgan is mad about potentially losing the Oculus brand VR forever and that’s a fair fear, but they are completely ignoring the actual wrong doing here and simply wishing to reward their own desires. Nevermind Oculus making a bad decision, nevermind Carmack making a bad decision. Let’s not call them out for harming themselves and leaving the gaming industry without their VR solution. It’s their own fault, not the fault of Zenimax for protecting their interest.
So no, I will not be boycotting Zenimax regardless of how much I would like VR technology to expand. Instead I will be celebrating victory on the part of intellectual property rights.