Published: October 31, 2021

Metaverse Is Going Full Throttle But Meta's Top VR Expert Is Weary

The seasoned programmer behind titles like Wolfenstein, DOOM, and Quake muses on how this task isn't a single-player game.

Three days ago, we brought you news that Facebook was officially changing its name to Meta, in a strategic move to shift commercial attention to its budding virtual and augmented reality systems amid its latest and greatest social media crisis. The move was met both with praise and criticism.

Now, John Carmack, the seasoned programmer behind DOOM and Quake who took on the role as CTO of Oculus VR prior to its acquisition by Facebook, is expressing some concerns with this new endeavor by the social media giant.

“I have been pretty actively arguing against every single metaverse effort that we have tried to spin up internally in the company from even pre-acquisition times,” said Carmack  during the Facebook Connect address. “I have pretty good reasons to believe that setting out to build the metaverse is not actually the best way to wind up with the metaverse.”

Carmack added that he did not believe that one player — one company — could wind up making all the right decisions for this endeavor. If these remarks seem quite limiting it's because they are.

And it's a pretty bold move to say such things about your employer which further indicates that Carmack must really believe in his statements. Despite his reservations, Carmack concluded that the company is indeed at the point of no return.

“But here we are,” Carmack said rather sadly. “Mark Zuckerberg has decided that now is the time to build the metaverse, so enormous wheels are turning and resources are flowing and the effort is definitely going to be made.”

Carmack, however, does plan to do his best to fulfill Zuckerberg's vision even going so far as to say the company could hold next year’s Facebook Connect conference in the metaverse.

“I’ll be really disappointed if I’m sitting here next year in front of a video crew and a camera in physical reality doing this talk,” he concluded. “I want to be walking around the halls or walking around the stage as my avatar in front of thousands of people, getting the feed across multiple platforms.” Can Carmack achieve this lofty goal? Only time will tell.

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