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Author Topic: Silcon Knights Sues Epic  (Read 1147 times)
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Tebunker
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« on: July 19, 2007, 10:40:20 PM »

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=14759

Click the link, read the article.

Essentially SK is saying that Epic purposefully breached it contract with SK, among other licensees, while developing their own titles. Thus costing SK oodles of money and eventually forcing them to develop their own engine.

Quote
It goes on to detail a number of specific alleged breaches of contract, particularly related to the delivery of Xbox 360 versions of the Unreal Engine 3 code. Epic's licensing document stated that a functional version of the engine would be available within 6 months of development kits being available.

Silicon Knights claims: "The final development kit for the Xbox 360 was released in early September, 2005, such that Epic was obligated to release the functional Engine for that platform no later than March, 2006."

The suit continues: "However, that deadline came and went without Epic providing Silicon Knights with a functional version of the Engine. Indeed, it was not until much later (November, 2006, far too late for time and cost-sensitive projects like SK’s videogames) that Epic ever provided anything resembling working Xbox 360 code to its licensees. Even at that belated date, though, Epic did not provide any guidance to licensees in how to implement the code it finally released."


I am certain Epic has some interesting retorts with regards to these claims, and all will be revealed when they release their legal responses in court.

One has to wonder though, should Epic be a middleware supplier or a publisher/developer. It sounds like it is hard to be both, let alone one or the other.
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 02:47:25 AM »

And let me cut/paste this in from elsewhere. Basically, it's showing what SK wants from Epic over this suit:

Quote
(1) the Agreement between Epic and Silicon Knights for a license to the Engine is null and void;
(2) Silicon Knights owes no obligations to Epic under any purported agreement by Silicon Knights to license the Engine;
(3) Silicon Knights is not required to use the Engine in developing any current or future games;
(4) Silicon Knights may alter the Engine without restriction;
(5) Silicon Knights is under no obligation to disclose or share any alterations Silicon Knights makes or causes to be made to the Engine with anyone, including Epic.
(6) Silicon Knights owes no monetary or other obligations to Epic and/or any of its business partners associated with the agreement to license the Engine;
(7) the game engine developed by Silicon Knights is totally independent of the Unreal Engine 3 and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights, or, alternatively, the game engine developed by Silicon Knights constitutes an “Enhancement” under the terms of the Agreement, and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights under the terms of that Agreement; and
(8 ) Silicon Knights owes no obligations, financial or otherwise, to Epic in connection with and/or related to the Silicon Knights Engine.
(9)The Court award damages to Silicon Knights in an amount proved at trial for the damages as set forth above
(10)Epic be required to disgorge all profits obtained on its Gears of War game as a result of the misconduct set forth above.

...

ALL the profits from Gears of War?
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 02:51:36 AM »

This suit smells like a desperate attempt to cover up the clusterfuck that is Too Human and the absurd amounts of money SK has wasted on it. Truly, there is something odd going on at that company.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 03:57:22 AM »

I haven't been impressed with Silcon Knight's public conduct over the last year at all.  Unfortunately it's also made me look forward to their game less than I would otherwise.

That said, I'm not so sure their allegations are so surprising.  Epic themselves admitted that their priority was getting the engine optimized for Gears of War and then passing those optimizations on to developers once it was done.  And despite the flood of Unreal 3 engine licensed games, they've been very slow to materialize.  Going on 8 months since Gears' release and the only other games released with the engine that I know of are R6: Vegas and Roboblitz though we should be seeing Bioshock and Stranglehold within a month or so. 
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 04:06:15 AM »

i was reading it and at first i said okay this suit doesnt seem too unreasonable - but then i saw these two (one already mentioned)

1)
Quote
Silicon Knights may alter the Engine without restriction;

2)
Quote
Epic be required to disgorge all profits obtained on its Gears of War game as a result of the misconduct set forth above.

yeah these are ridiculous - okay they didnt deliver on time, your game was hurt badly so you probably dont own them the contract and are entitled to some damages (like development cost) but come on free use of the engine anyway AND GoW profits?  put down the bong and make a game
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Jumangi
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 06:34:05 AM »

What SK is asking for i.e. 'Everything and the kitchen sink' is standard practice for a lawsuit. They always want everything and then work down from there.

As for the suit itself, it seems like SK thought using the Unreal engine was going to make everything easy for them, and then they realized all the changes and work that would still be needed. Unless other devs start piping up about having similar issues I doubt this will ever go very far for SK.

Also reading the text it look like its going to be what determines "functional' when it comes to a game engine. The lawyers will have fun with that one.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 03:30:01 PM by Jumangi » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 09:19:05 PM »

the case continues.  now it's in front of a federal jury.
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 09:38:20 PM »

well, I guess this didn't turn out the way they planned it:

Quote
Silicon Knights is being ordered by the US court to recall and destroy all unsold copies of games using Unreal Engine 3, including Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. The new ruling on post-trial motions for the case between Silicon Knights and Epic Games also saw Epic's jury award upped from $4.5 million to over $9 million.

The ruling, dated November 7, also orders Silicon Knights to cease using Epic Games's "Licensed Technology" and remove it from the company's game engine. Furthermore, Silicon Knights has until December 10 to destroy any code built using Epic's technology; the court order includes Too Human, X-Men: Destiny, Siren in the Maelstrom, The Sandman, and The Box/Ritualyst. Silicon Knights must notify the court by December 21 and again on February 21, 2013, concerning all injunctions ordered, and they are to be carried out at the company's expense.

"Epic Games appreciates the court's careful consideration of the motion and is gratified by the order," Epic Games told us when reached for comment.
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 10:38:03 PM »

I guess Too Human 2 will be out any day now!
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 11:41:24 PM »

Was this the response to the appeal? I remember a while back they lost the case.

Anyway, honestly, SK seemed to be mismanaged overall. Not sure what they hoped to accomplish from this suit.
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