Crytek Sues Cloud Imperium for Copyright Infringement and Breach of Contract

Crytek Sues Cloud Imperium for Copyright Infringement and Breach of Contract

Crytek say that all of these clauses were breached by the Star Citizen developers, and so they are seeking both direct damages, which they estimate somewhere in excess and also indirect, consequential and special damages. Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and Roberts Space Industries (RSI), the developers behind the game that's raised almost $200 million via crowdfunding, are being sued by game publisher Crytek. You can find the full text of the suit here, but the tl;dr version is that CIG and RSI are using the engine with proper attribution, and that the engine is being used across two distinct games.

Apparently, part of the Game License Agreement states that the developers "would keep the underlying technology for CryEngine (including computer source code) confidential and not share it with anyone else without first disclosing that third party and obtaining prior written approval", that they wouldn't "publish or distribute the CryEngine in any way, be it in source code or object code", or "use CryEngine in any manner which may disclose the CryEngine source code or other Crytek proprietary information to any third party not otherwise authorized herein".

Back in 2016, Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) stated that it was moving away from CryEngine 3 in favour of Amazon's Lumberyard product, but according to Crytek, Star Citizen continues to use the engine in some capacity.

Obviously it looks like this is a battle that'll be resolved in the courtroom rather than space. Freyermuth, therefore, had an advantage and knowledge of Crytek's licensing practices when negotiating the CIG deal.

UPDATE: A Cloud Imperium Games rep has responded with the following statement to Gamasutra: "We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court".

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That, Crytek claims, was in breach of its original contract with CIG, claiming that promises to promote Cryengine have been disrupted by the engine switch.

It includes the CryEngine trademark but not Crytek's. Just in case you're not familiar with Squadron 42, it is a single-player campaign that takes place in the Star Citizen universe. However, that model was changed and Squadron 42 became a separate entity which means CIG are now effectively creating two AAA titles. It also alleges that CIG failed to forward on bug fixes and optimisations to the engine that it had promised to provide. The agreement with Crytek was to only cover one game and therefore CIG would now be breaching the initial agreement.

In a statement, CIG and RSI called the lawsuit "meritless".

Crytek seeks damages as well as a permanent injunction to prevent CIG "from continuing to possess or use the Copyrighted Work", which sounds like it could be messy.

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