John Carmack Of Quake Fame Is 'Winding Down' His Space Business

Games developer id Software has quite the legacy, with most of its success thanks in part to programmer John Carmack. With classics such as Quake and Wolfenstein 3D under his belt — and the large sums of cash that followed their popularity and subsequent sequels — Carmack has spent much of his time on other exploits, including sending rockets into space via his company Armadillo Aerospace. Unfortunately, after almost 13 years of operation, Carmack is "winding down" the company.

"Cheap" is not a word you could ever associate with "rockets" and "space", a reality that has hit Armadillo after various failed attempts to get their vehicles off the ground — literally. While Armadillo has snagged a few wins over its lifetime, Carmack still had to pour significant amounts of his own cash into the company to keep it going, a fact he revealed recently to Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar.

Eventually, he realised that Armadillo couldn't sustain itself; he's now in the process of putting the venture into hibernation:

"I laid off most of the full-time employees," Carmack told Ars on Friday. "[We have a few doing some] minor part-time hours, and there's one guy still on there. We still have the building, and I own materials there, and I don’t have the funding to continue development."
...
"I'm spending [somewhere] in the couple hundred thousand [dollar range], we still have to pay accountants, lawyers, and pay for insurance. We're talking to people and we hope that some money shows up, but if not we'll wind down even further."

It's not all bad news, though. Carmack has found a new interest — virtual reality, specifically the Oculus Rift. Hopefully, with his attention focused on this maturing technology, it'll get the best chance to succeed at a consumer level, even if his dreams of rockets have to be put on hold.

[Ars Technica]

Image: Courtesy of Armadillo Aerospace, licensed under CC 3.0

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