[Update:] According to MassivelyOP, CIG responded to the lawsuit with the following statements…
“We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court. CIG hasn’t used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”
[Original story:] Crytek is suing Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games for multiple counts of breaching the game license agreement that they signed to use the CryEngine to develop Star Citizen back in 2012. They have a lengthy list of the infractions in the copyright infringement lawsuit, which was recently made public via Scribd.
Crytek’s biggest issue is that there’s been a breach of contract after they attempted to reach out to Roberts Space Industries about the breach.
One of the complaints is that Cloud Imperium Games is using Lumberyard from Amazon, based on CryEngine. The contract was that CIG would only use CryEngine exclusively to make the game. The reality is that the CryEngine was unfit to make Star Citizen in its current state, so CIG had to
gut the engine in order to accommodate procedural planet generation and space travel. They also needed Amazon’s backend networking infrastructure to allow for large-scale instances to accommodate many players within an instance.
However, the suit also alleges that CIG removed logos and that RSI no longer prominently features or advertises the CryEngine during video promotion. This is actually true. You don’t see CryEngine much in the promotion of the game anymore, or at all. But then again that’s because what’s being used now isn’t really CryEngine anymore.
Crytek also alleges that they’re using the CryEngine to make Squadron 42, which is being billed and promoted as a separate game. Now Squadron 42 has been depicted as a separate purchase, even on the official website you can purchase Squadron 42 as a standalone away from the other multiplayer.
However, is it really breach of contract when the core engine is no longer the same and is something completely different to build the second game?
In a way, Crytek is kind of shooting themselves in the foot by saying that Cloud Imperium Games is no longer using CryEngine exclusively for the development of Star Citizen due to it being a new engine, while also simultaneously saying that CryEngine is being used to make Star Citizen and Squadron 42. If it’s no longer the CryEngine then technically it wouldn’t be CIG using the engine to make two games, but rather a new engine to make the second game, and wouldn’t that mean that RSI technically isn’t in breach of contract when it comes to using CryEngine to make two games?
I don’t know if they’ll have much solid ground to stand on with that above point, but they will likely have a solid case with suing for the lack of having a compilable version of the mish-mash of what’s left of the CryEngine that is currently powering Star Citizen.
Yes, Crytek is suing RSI for not making the current version of the CryEngine (or what’s left of it) that can generate entire galaxies a complete version of the engine for Crytek to use. It’s interesting because that would likely make the CryEngine the most sought after AAA game engine on the market if RSI/CIG handed over the current engine source code to Crytek. I tend to doubt that they’ll do that, though.
BioWare Montreal spent three years trying (and failing) to do what CIG managed to accomplish with their current iteration of the CryEngine/Lumberyard. I imagine any company looking to make an AAA space-traveling game would love to get their hands on the current engine source code that CIG is working with now.
Crytek is also suing for having their source code allegedly shown during the Bugsmashers episodes, where CIG developers show backers how they’re squashing bugs in Star Citizen in real time in order to get the game ready for public distribution.
And Crytek is also suing for Roberts Space Industries entering into a partnership with Facewear Technologies, because they didn’t get their permission from Crytek. This part here is quite flimsy because Crytek is working under the assumption that Facewear had access to the suite of CryEngine tools source code, but we don’t know exactly what they had access to.
Crytek is seeking excess of $75,000 for direct damages along with other damages to be determined in court.
Even if CIG doesn’t believe this case has merit in court, it’s still not a good look, especially when the refund dispute for $25,000 is still looming over their heads.
(Thanks for the news tip Kyle)
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