Crytek Sues Star Citizen Makers For Breaching Contract

14 December, 2017, 05:26 | Author: Darnell Taylor

The complaint stems from a number of incidents surrounding the development of Star Citizen, the developers' in-development online space exploration game.

It opens in 2012, when Star Citizen's developers were preparing for their Kickstarter campaign, Crytek helped them prepare promotional materials. Since, the game has raised a total of $173 million through crowdfunding.

That 2016 switch from CryEngine to Lumberyard is where the bulk of Crytek's allegations stem from since, according to the court filings, the game license agreement signed between Crytek and the Star Citizen developers required exclusive use of CryEngine for the game's development.

Crytek has filed a lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games over the use of its Cryengine technology in Star Citizen, alleging that Crytek licensed the engine to CIG at a below-market rate in exchange for a prominent display of its trademarks in Star Citizen. The lawsuit goes on to say that Cloud Imperium founder Chris Roberts "publicly sought to minimize Crytek's contribution to Star Citizen".

Polygon has reached out to the Star Citizen team, Crytek and Amazon for comment.

Crytek is asking for direct damages, indirect damages and a permanent injunction to prevent CIG and RSI "from continuing to possess or use the Copyrighted Work".

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FarCry and Crysis developer Crytek filed paperwork with the California Central District Court today to bring a lawsuit against Roberts Space Industries and Cloud Imperium Games, the developers of Star Citizen.

All of this reportedly happened before Cloud Imperium Games switched game engines, from CryEngine 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. The filling specifically refers to Squadron 42 project.

"Notwithstanding that he had confidential information about Crytek's licensing practices that would unfairly advantage Defendants, Freyermuth never recused himself from those negotiations and never resolved that conflict of interest with Crytek", the suit states. Shortly after this, the Crytek trademarks were removed from the game. They then say that because "Crytek has been deprived of that promised consideration, Crytek has been substantially damaged, and has failed to receive the balance of its full, usual license fee".

Making matters even more complicated is the fact that Amazon's Lumberyard is, in fact, a fork of the CryEngine itself purchased by Amazon. If Crytek were to win this case in court, it would likely be substantaily more than the stated minimum. The agreement with Crytek was to only cover one game and therefore CIG would now be breaching the initial agreement. According to the document, CIG and RSI said they were ready and willing to comply but then did not.

The final complaint in the document is that CIG and RSI revealed CryEngine technology to third parties without permission.

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