Crytek Suing Star Citizen's Developer Over Contract And Copyright Issues

Star Citizen

With Crytek suing CIG for failing to live up to its end when using CryENGINE to power Star Citizen.

Among other things, that game license agreement required CIG and RSI to "prominently display Crytek's trademarks and copyrights notices" in Star Citizen and associated marketing and use Star Citizen's development to provide bug fixes and optimizations to CryEngine on an annual basis, while barring them using CryEngine in a standalone, non-Star Citizen game and from sharing CryEngine source code with third parties.

Crytek initially agreed to a below-market rate for Cloud Imperium to use its tech with the agreement that its logo would be used within the game. This lawsuit, filed in US district court in California, has the potential to disrupt development of a game that is already more than five years in development and has yet to deliver on many promises to its backers. CIG hasn't used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon's Lumberyard.

Cloud Imperium Games confirmed the lawsuit in a statement to PC Gamer, where they said it was "meritless" and that the developer will be fighting "vigorously" in court over the lawsuit. The lawsuit notes that the logo was a "critical component" to the game. 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?

Yet, during a livestream on December 16, 2015, CIG announced that Squadron 42, the single-player campaign of Star Citizen, was going to be sold separately. Regarding the copyright infringement claims, Crytek claims that Cloud Imperium's infringement was "willful, reckless, and/or in blatant disregard for Crytek's rights as a copyright holder".

Crysis 3
Crysis 3

The next year, Crytek say that they told CIG and RSI that they were in breach of the Game License Agreement.

Crytek is seeking direct damages that "substantially" exceed US$75,000, alongside a number of other damages and injunctions. According to the document, CIG and RSI said they were ready and willing to comply but then did not.

The lawsuit goes deeper, as Crytek claims that in the terms of its deal with CIG, the developer had to send Crytek a list of bug fixes and optimizations that it had made to the CryEngine source code.

Crytek claim that CIG and RSI are in breach of these promises thanks to its "Bugsmashers" series - a run of videos where CIG developers talk about how they fixed bugs in Star Citizen - because "the videos contain excerpts of information from CryEngine that were confidential".

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