Crytek Hates Star Citizen and Squadron 42

Herbert Rhodes
December 14, 2017

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. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter".

This lawsuit, filed in USA 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. It's that agreement which Crytek claim CIG and RSI have breached.

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

Crytek added that changes made to CryEngine while it was being used to develop Star Citizen have also not been passed on to it. Since, the game has raised a total of $173 million through crowdfunding. The latest hurdle for the crowdfunded space sim has come in the form of a lawsuit that's been filed by Crytek over the original use of its Crytek Engine before developer Cloud Imperium Games switched over to Amazon's Lumberyard engine. Now we don't know whether Crytek and Cloud Imperium settled things when the latter made a decision to move to the Lumberyard. Crytek says that since both use the same code, that constitutes using the engine twice and represents a further breach of contract.

Thing is, Cloud Imperium is disputing the claim. You don't see CryEngine much in the promotion of the game anymore, or at all.

Crysis 3
Crysis 3

Crytek claims that CIG's infringement of their deal was "willful, reckless, and/or in blatant disregard for Crytek's rights as a copyright holder". The filling specifically refers to Squadron 42 project. Later that month, on February 14, CIG and RSI started selling Squadron 42. If this relief is not granted, Defendants will continue to profit unjustly at Crytek's expense.

However, the suit also alleges that CIG removed logos and that RSI no longer prominently features or advertises the CryEngine during video promotion.

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.

It includes the CryEngine trademark but not Crytek's.

Crytek say that CIG and RSI received "a substantial reduction from Crytek's usual licensing fees in view of the promotional consideration". Saying the company 'utterly failed to follow through on those promises.' in reference to multiple alleged complaints. This relationship was later formalised after the Kickstarter push with a Game License Agreement which Crytek says was done at a below-market price.

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