Crytek Lawsuit Levels Copyright Infringement Allegations At Star Citizen
Cloud Imperium Games is in the hot seat as a Crytek lawsuit surfaces over the company’s use of their Cryengine in the game Star Citizen. The Crytek lawsuit alleges that a breach of contract was made by CIG after removing Crytek trademarks from their game. While Star Citizen is now on Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine, the issues arose well before the changeover. Here is what the suit says specifically about the charges:
Defendants knew Crytek’s right to display its trademarks and copyright notices in the Star Citizen video game and related marketing materials was a critical component of the GLA [Game License Agreement]. Yet, by at least September 24, 2016, Defendants’ co-founder Chris Roberts publicly sought to minimize Crytek’s contribution to Star Citizen, stating that ‘we don’t call [the video game engine] CryEngine anymore, we call it Star Engine.’ “Shortly thereafter, Defendants removed Crytek trademarks and copyright notices from the Star Citizen video game and related marketing materials in breach of the GLA.”
Part of the Crytek lawsuit levels complaints about the use of Lumberyard, stating that the game only had the license to use Cryengine in their game. The claims continue to rise as the company further states that CIG never delivered on optimizations and bug fixes that came about when using it in Star Citizen. Lumberyard itself is based upon Cryengine, muddying the waters even further.
Another layer to the Crytek lawsuit is the fact that CIG only had permission to use Cryengine on Star Citizen, and breached contract again when they developed Squadron 42 with the same technology. While the game is a single-player part of Star Citizen, it is a separate game in the eyes of Crytek, who hopes to convince a court of the same and that it is also copyright infringement.
The Crytek lawsuit seeks over $75,000 in damages, not including court costs and other fees. A further issue lies in the fact that the co-founder and general counsel Ortwin Freyermuth had worked with CIG to draft the agreement for licensing had also worked with Crytek on agreements of the same kind. Such confidential information meant he should have excused himself from negotiations to resolve any conflict of interest. Even their representation on the deal, Carl Jones, would leave Crytek to work for CIG.
CIG seems fully aware of the lawsuit, stating that the suit held no merit and that they would be fighting the allegations in court. CIG will also seek to retain any costs on account of the lawsuit, but of course, they have to win first. Court documents can be found here for readers wanting more in-depth details.
Did CIG breach contract, or is Crytek overreacting? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below! Don’t forget to follow DFTG on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7!
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