Epic claims victory in Silicon Knights suit

[UPDATE] Company president Mark Rein says jury finds for Epic Games on all counts in Unreal Engine 3 licensing dispute case, company awarded $4.45 million in damages; Silicon Knights plans to appeal.

The legal dispute between Epic Games and Silicon Knights over the Unreal Engine 3 stemming back to 2007 has reportedly ended. Epic Games' vice president and cofounder, Mark Rein, tweeted this afternoon that a jury found for Epic on all counts.

A victory for Epic is all too real, according to Rein.

Silicon Knights originally took Epic Games to court in July 2007, saying the Unreal Engine maker broke contracts with licensing partners in order to give Gears of War a head start on the competition. Epic was quick to countersue, firing back a month later claiming Silicon Knights tried to steal its technology, and asking for the judge to dismiss the original suit.

Little was heard of the case between Epic and Silicon Knights for a number of years, until March 2011, when a judge ruled that the suit could proceed in federal court, where a jury would decide the merits of Silicon Knights' claim and Epic's counterclaim.

[UPDATE] After the publication of this story, an Epic Games representative confirmed the company's legal victory over Silicon Knights to GameSpot. Additionally, Epic Games was awarded $4.45 million in damages.

"We are delighted with the jury's verdict and all of the hard work done by the Hunton & Williams legal team," said Epic's general counsel Jay Andrews.

[UPDATE 2] On Thursday, May 31, a Silicon Knights representative relayed a message from studio founder Denis Dyack to GameSpot stating the company plans to appeal the decision.

"We are disappointed by the outcome, and we plan on appealing," he said.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

97 comments
Rivboets7
Rivboets7

After reading a bunch of these comments it makes me really want to try out Eternal Darkness.  I might have to go and dig out my old GameCube.

mdboomer
mdboomer

Epic did us all a favor....try out Xmen destiny and you'll agree that SK should be no more!

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Silicon Kbights and Dennis Dyack are finished.  Good riddance. Eternal Darkness was the only decent game they eveer made.   that was 10 years ago.

JoJoStarFire
JoJoStarFire

I see a whole lot of gaming companies in court settings in the future, a whole lot. The gaming industry is getting so big that greed sets in and everyone will be trying to eat each other eyes out. So sad, but be prepared.

brandr83
brandr83

Epic only one because SK wasn't allowed to show evidence or have witnesses that could show the projected losses from Epic not providing proper customer support on the unreal engine which was new at the time.  It's complete BS with the judge saying SK failed to provide proof but barred them from doing so.  Shame on Epic and their legal team, they've lost quite a few customers where I live, I've also sent all my epic games and the collectors stuff to the trash. :D

sonicare
sonicare

And the winners are the trial lawyers.

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

So when is Too Human 2 coming out Silicon Knights? lol

Cozm1kaos
Cozm1kaos

Silicon Knights is not going anywhere!!! They ROCKSTAR little biddle company. If anything bye bye to the name because all us retards are bashing them!!

WoZe
WoZe

I can't like any company that employs cliff bleszinski. I know he had no part in this but he's still a cocky little knowitall. Wonder if he's still teaching the japanese how to make games....

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

If Silicon Knights actually still has good programmers, now is the time to buy them because they could be brought back to life with the right sponsors.

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

If they'd just made Eternal Darkness 2 they might've had a chance to bounce back. But oh Well. Not gonna complain about it.

TheEveryMan
TheEveryMan

Silicon Knights are officially doomed now. Their games were entertaining, but I don't see them making a comeback after this fatal blow.

LordelX
LordelX

Well, that's the end of Silicon Knights. Eternal Darkness was great, but Nintendo owns that license. Guess there's nothing to miss.

ebonyflame
ebonyflame

You know, I agree with @leeko_link  Nintendo should pick them up now while the blood is still fresh and get them to pump us out another Eternal Darkness. While they are at it they should give Retro STudios the go ahead and give us another Metroid Trilogy for the new home system. If they made a game as beautiful as the original Metroid Prime Trilogy which rivaled most HD games on HD systems, imagine what they could produce now.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Wow Silicon Knights losing $4.45 million, in this situation they are better off returning to Nintendo and give us Eternal Darkness 2.

macca366
macca366

Jesus. Does Silicon Knights HAVE 4.5 million? I'd be surprised if this isn't the end for them

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

They had supposedly begun work on Eternal Darkness 2, "The sequel fans have been demanding", and was expected to be a Wii U exclusive. I wonder if this will derail that project?

namdar
namdar

Well... was it worth it Dennis ? 

Huskypaw
Huskypaw

Epic Games just doesn't bring it anymore.. And now they have to blame others!

KenshinXSlayer
KenshinXSlayer

Silicon Knights have yet to make a good game?  Hmm, Eternal Darkness and Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain are wonderful games and Eternal Darkness puts the majority of current gen games to shame. 

Giganticguyver4
Giganticguyver4

I know this is gonna sound really mean but I don't think anyone would lose any sleep if Silicon Knights went away, they haven't exactly made a good game yet, just sayin *shrugs shoulders*

thetravman
thetravman

This is a jerkish move by SK and they have had a sluggish record of games lately, but I still have a soft spot for them. Eternal darkness is still my favourite survivor horror game.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

I hope this results in the closure of Silicon Knights. I don't want anyone out of a job except Denis Dyack, but the company is so damn awful and just keeps going. Even Rebellion has made better games this generation.

hadlee73
hadlee73

But was there an intense scene in which the Epic lawyer made the SK representative shout "You can't handle the truth!"?

Roodogs
Roodogs

I doubt SK will be around much longer.

dmdavenport
dmdavenport

4.5 mil? So what - you can't get blood from a turnip and SK doesn't have a pot to pee in. Moral victory, I guess.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Epic is just protecting what's theirs.  SK thought the Unreal Engine was unusable and rewrote portions of the engine to suit their needs, and because they rewrote so much of the engine they thought they could brand what they wrote as theirs and wouldn't need to pay the licensing costs.  That doesn't make it their engine.  If you gut a Ford and put in a ricer engine, bucket seats and all that... guess what?  It's still a Ford.

 

Epic may not have even sued at all if SK didn't sue first.  I'd do the same thing in Epic's case.  Take my game engine, pay nothing for it, AND sue me in the process?  Uh huh.

Chaos_Stryker
Chaos_Stryker

People are talking like Epic is the big bad man here, trying to shut down smaller companies and only caring about itself. However, Silicon Knights was found GUILTY of ATTEMPTED THEFT of Epic's property. Of course Epic is going to retaliate and defend themselves.

 

It's not about big company vs little company here, it's about one party trying to steal from another party. Which SK was found guilty of. It sucks that they're probably going to be shut down and a handful of innocent people will be losing jobs, but crime never pays, as they say.

mtait01
mtait01

a sad day!! This probably means Silicon Knights will close there doors whilst Epic Games can carry on to milk it's Gears of War franchise and assist in mediocre shooters such as Bulletstorm. Sometimes I do worry about what the industry will become someday.

Borderlands666
Borderlands666

 @brandr83  Take your facebook spam some where else. SK was guilty plain and simple. Deal with it. Epic may be a bunch of arrogant loud mouths but really, blaming Epic because SK is a failure of a Game company is even more of a fail. They lost time to move on.

Darth_Starwind
Darth_Starwind

That lawsuit was garbage. One look at the timeline of the case and most could see that  Silicon Knights was pushing a B.S. lawsuit. The fact that the jury found Silicon Knight's lawsuit was without merit and then decided in favor of Epic's counter-suit speaks volumes. Add to that the 4.5 million judgement...

brandr83 you said,  "It's complete BS with the judge saying SK failed to provide proof but barred them from doing so." There is a reason for that, its called credible evidence and testimony. Any projected losses claims in this case would be so hypothetical that it would nearly be in the realm of fiction Plus, you need to remember when SK first filed the lawsuit, they were asking as part of the punitive damages all of the profits from Gears of War. Their claim was those profits should have been theirs had Epic (according to SK) not fooled with their game. In other words they claim Too Human would have beaten Gears in head to head match up on the store shelves. Who knows? They could have been right., but they don't have the solid tangible evidence to prove it. That's why the judge can't allow that kind of testimony or evidence. In the court of law its not what you know to be true but what you can prove. The jury has to decided cases based on that premise.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

 @WoZe I used to like the guy a lot more until he turned into such a diva.

He went from being a gaming rocker to a smug little corporate creeper.

fightingfish18
fightingfish18

 @ebonyflame I think you've got good ideas on both counts.  Too bad it probably won't happen with Silicon Knights :/  Metroid Trilogy is possible though!

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @ebonyflame Eternal Darkness? You mean one of two games (other being Geist) that killed whatever chance Nintendo had with the M rated market? The same chance they had from Rare and Perfect Dark, their only success in regards to his subject? Won't happen. Even Reggie admits making M rated games isn't their thing.

 

Any M rated games on Nintendo consoles will be by third parties, mainly Activision and Capcom.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @leeko_link No it wouldn't, because Nintendo got very little out of Eternal Darkness and Geist and see no point in publishing games like that.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @OHGFawx I think Nintendo's refusal to publish any M rated game after Geist already derailed that.

surrealme
surrealme

 @Huskypaw Silicon Knights falsely accused Epic of breach of contract and tried to steal their engine tech and that's somehow Epic's fault? They got what they deserved.

mdboomer
mdboomer

 @Roodogs

 They fired most of their staff months ago and the Canadian goverment cut off their grant.  So yes this will be the final straw

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

 @Roodogs I'm surprised they still are. What have they put out thats actually done well recently.

ztg360
ztg360

 @mtait01 let me guess you are in love with cod and think that all of them are the most innovative games on the planet too?

shooters125
shooters125

 @mtait01 Huh. Didn't realize that 3 games meant they were milking the franchise.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

 @nintendoboy16 They plan to release Ninja Gaiden 3, Assassins Creed 3, Darksiders 2, among others on the Wii U. It would be extremely foolish to limit 1st party publications in such a manner. But i also read that they renewed copyrights on ED and its terminology not too long ago so that bodes well for the project i hope.

Huskypaw
Huskypaw

 @surrealme Why do you defend a company that doesn't produce good games since long anymore? What's in for you?

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @cjburnfist Doubt it after Nintendo and DMADesign/Rockstar North's fallout when Body Harvest was in development. I know GTA was on GBA and DS, but far as I'm concerned, Rockstar North didn't develop those hands on so it doesn't count.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

 @nintendoboy16 The first ED sold very well and is still considered one of the best games in the GC library. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel ever since, and i would even go so far to say many would buy a Wii U just to play it.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

 @OHGFawx "it would be foolish to limit 1st publications in such a manner."

 

Well, if you didn't get the sales you expected out of the previous games you published, can you blame them? It's not worth the risk if it only ends up in bad news.