Epic-Silicon Knights suit proceeds

Judge refuses to dismiss developer's original complaint against Unreal Engine maker; court docs give scant details on unannounced game from Too Human developer.

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In July, Silicon Knights sued Epic Games, saying the Gears of War maker hadn't lived up to its end of a licensing agreement for the Too Human developer to use Epic's Unreal Engine 3 exclusively in its games. Epic responded with a motion to dismiss the original complaint and a countersuit, claiming Silicon Knights was trying to use Unreal Engine 3 in a forthcoming, still unannounced game without paying for it.

While Epic's counterclaim is still outstanding, the judge in the case sided with Silicon Knights this week in denying the motion to dismiss the original suit. However, he offered no further explanation of his ruling.

The case may drag on for a while, as Epic also recently lost a motion to expedite the discovery process of the trial. Currently the two parties are set to complete fact discovery by June 2, 2008, with expert discovery wrapping up by August 29, 2008. No trial date has yet been set.

The two sides entered into their licensing agreement originally for the development of Too Human, but much of the case rests around an unannounced PlayStation 3 game that Silicon Knights is currently making for Sega. Scant bits of information about that title have leaked out in court documents; Silicon Knights has stated it is a single-player-only game, and that it is preparing a patent application to cover the game's camera system, "given its unique functionality and design."

Discussion

87 comments
king_bobo
king_bobo

Awesome. Well, I mean the fact that they're 'preparing a patent application to cover the game's camera system, "given its unique functionality and design."' - that implies that it's so great that they don't want anyone else to steal it. Maybe it will involve motion sensitivity? Who knows - any news about exclusives for any console is great news to me.

McGregor
McGregor

From what i see of too human now, it's looking amazing. I definitely have to disagree with anyone who says it looks bad. I really hope it lives up to the "news" on the title by bringing us a smaller version of the mmo's many gamers have grown to love.

mathewseal123
mathewseal123

Too human looks good at start now just looks bad, Epic games is going to win.. I hope this lawsuit didn't get in the way with game making. I think SK Is trying to get a free ride .... Plus whens gears of war 2 coming out? next year? gears of war was one of the best games ever.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

not too bothered as Rainbow 6 2 is out in March so ill be playing that mostly (along with most of the XBL community)

lord-of-gamers
lord-of-gamers

OMG - it will take some time lol - by the time its sorted the UE5 will be out lmao

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

lamprey263, 'Fantasy Empires', 'Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem', 'Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain' and 'Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes' for the Game Cube. What you will notice is that these games by Silicon Knights are seperate games and not just incarnations of the same game over and over....... and over again!

lamprey263
lamprey263

name 3 games SK games made in the last 10 years

Homerj
Homerj

I hope SK wins and wins big. The root of this lawsuit is not really about Too Human specifically, it has more to do with dev deadlines not being met in regards to an un-named multiplat title SK was developing at the same time. The base cause of SK's wrath is due to UE3 not being able to run on the PS3 despite Epic's constant assurances and public posturing. After Epic ran rampant through the gaming press, acting like a bunch of raving Sony Fanboys, they had to eat crow and admit what the rest of the dev community already knows, UE3 does not run adequately on the PS3. Epic needs to be hit in the pocket big time...maybe they will learn that lies and distortions to toe the Sony company line isnt good business.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

lol @ Qazzor, i apologise for forgeting about 'Unreal', its just a shame that other than Unreal & GOW franchise EPIC really dont have any other noteworthy games, so it only makes sense for them to take an aggresive approach by protecting their only real source of income...the 'Unreal' engine! SK on the other hand should just carry on and find an alternative engine, or even develop their own to complemennt 'Too Human' as it looks & sounds potentially amazing.

Jazzism
Jazzism

It's only a console game. More drama than a Seinfeld episode. Epic hurt SK's game almost as much as they hurt Unreal Tournament 3. They designed it like UT99 with nicer graphics, essentially a Halo clone. Nothing evolutionary from either of these companies unless SK can pull a rabbit out of the hat. Good luck is all I can say.

ctg867
ctg867

I really hope that Silicon Knights wins this case over. Some publications have been taking a look over at Too Human, and they have nothing but good things to say about it. Not to mention that fact that I really do think that Epic really flubbed the whole situation up. Other developers have come out and mentioned problems they've had with Epic and the UE3. Not to mention that the only reason why that E3 demo looked so bad was because they had a Unreal Engine 3 change at the last minute from Epic (who didn't care about Silicon) and Microsoft (who didn't care about Silicon). So yea for Silicon Knights. Though who ever the hell they have speaking out for them about this whole thing is a real whiny *****. Not the best way to win the people over guys.

sidious
sidious

With all the media Too Human is getting right now (go to Gametrailers.com to see tons of new game footage and interviews, plus a new trailer on XBL and lots of magazine coverage), there is no doubt the game is well on its way and will likely be a major release for Microsoft in 2008 if the gameplay and story hold up, and more rencent hands on from jounalists seem to point towards it being good. It still has a lot of bad press to overcome due to their poor showing of an unprepared demo at E3 a couple of years ago. But looking at all the new footage and reading the new previews, I for one am excited. I love their previous work. Eternal Darkness is one of my favorite games of all time. So despite their issues, I'm willing to give them the benifit of the doubt and Too Human stays high on my radar for 2008.

mannholloway1
mannholloway1

the more I see of this game the less impressed I become SK are a bunch of Dinks they should have stuck with Nintendo and made a Sequel to ED.

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

Too Human is going to be an amazing game, and I cant wait for it....game of the year 2008 anyone??

Dryker
Dryker

Sydwynder, Too Human is coming and would expect it to hit no later than the middle of next year. Just recently gamespot released an article on it demystifying the belief that Too Human is strictly an action game... there is much more to it. You should read the article. Aside from that, after reading this article, I'm not sure if this suit will affect Too Human at all as Epic is referring specifically to an "Unannounced Title" intended for the PS3. Any delays to Too Human have developed from Silicon Knights frustration with the Unreal Engine 3 and their involvement in the lawsuit. Don't get the wrong idea, I love Unreal Engine 3 and think it makes phenomenal games, but that is not what the lawsuit is pertaining to.

Qazzor
Qazzor

thenephariouson, first off, the games industry is not as big as the movie industry, at least not yet. Second off what the hell do you mean name other good games Epic have made, have you ever heard of unreal?! Thats just a series that propelled online PC gaming and sub sequentially made online platform gaming amazing. Epic have been making quality games since before you picked up a controller or touched a keyboard, as you obviously have been playing games since your mommy bought you a 360.

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

That sound you just heard was the online retailers deleting the listings for Too Human on there online stores because, unfortunately, this game will never ship and might as well be cancelled. Sad, though, I was really looking forward to it. As mentioned earlier, I also wonder what Microsoft thinks of all this since they were set to publish Too Human and did publish GoW.

lamprey263
lamprey263

Anyhow, I'm real curious to know what kind of support from Epic that SK was expecting, I mean, they got the game engine, you'd think it was up to the developers to do everything else from that point, right?

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

"Space-Q This is crazy. people aren't supposed to sue each other in this industry... it's too small. Hopefully all this legal business doesn't hamper too much game making." You are Joking right?? The games industry is as big as the Movie industry!!!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

This may be the best thing that could happen, as it may prompt SK to develop their own bespoke engine. Just a matter of interest can anyone name any quality games that Epic have made (other than GOW)?

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

i dont see wot all the fuss is about, SK should just use an alternative engine, theres plenty of engines just as good and some cases better than unreal 3, (Source, Mercury, Sandbox, etc)

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

I'm curious how Microsoft Game Studios feels about this... Since they are the publishers of Too Human, they are likely involved in this somehow. I'm sure SK had to request additional funding and a justification when they found out that they were going to need to build a custom game engine.

Pedro7_2000
Pedro7_2000

@ Redgarl I'd quote what you're saying, but I'm not entirely sure what you ARE saying. What I will address is your BioShock comment. BioShock has outstanding graphics and is a AAA game. I'm not sure if they were delayed by the UE3 or not, but regardless that game turned out better than anyone thought it could. Hopefully the same will be true for Too Human.

dorohala
dorohala

Bring it out on PS3, you know the power of it!!!

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

I clean friendly resolution is all i care about. Good games are important and these two great companies are producing beautiful games and all consoles will benifit from a peacful resolution. I know you PS3 fan boys want to play that Unannounced game don't you? If you do, (because I know you need some games any freaking way) then you should hope from a clean dispute to get ironed out. I know I do!! GoW2 is on the way BABY WOOOOOOOO!!!

Space-Q
Space-Q

"Space-Q this industry you call small is bigger than hollywood" I know it bigger than hollywood. When I say small, I mean a lot of the people in the industry know each other and are friends. I'm willing to bet there are guys at silicon knights that went to school with, or have worked with guys from epic. and especially since they were working with each other, you know a few of the guys are probably pretty close...or maybe they are not and that's why they are where they are. The medical industry is HUGE, the automotive industry is huge. hollywood and video games... are small.

gotex
gotex

"Volgin13 hope they bring Too Human to PS3 and not 360. You know to kinda get back at them!" lol i love ur mass effect picture ps3 fanboy

King-Zetune
King-Zetune

Volgin13: hope they bring Too Human to PS3 and not 360. You know to kinda get back at them! STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP Talking about stubid stuff, first of all too human is a MS published game and second of all MS and Epic are different companys, Third of all Unreal is owned by Epic so MS( 360) has nothing to do with it

jahoousa
jahoousa

I personally have never cared much for unreal-driven games. Gears of war was good exept for the low res shadows, what's up with that?

Volgin13
Volgin13

hope they bring Too Human to PS3 and not 360. You know to kinda get back at them!

ibanezdropd
ibanezdropd

the court system seriously takes too long. they need to come to an agreement. no need for bad blood in the industry.

u_poop
u_poop

sweat...i realy want to see this game that is a single player game for the playstation 3

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

i hope they can come to a deal thats good for both parties

jdhill1982
jdhill1982

say goodbye to GoW 2 and GoW 3 !!!!!!!!!

Timstuff
Timstuff

All that Epic needs to do to win this lawsuit is have the judge play Bioshock. SK just can't admit that they lost their touch and that it took them 10 years to make a game that looks and plays like horse crap.

Somini
Somini

Silicon Knights FTW...

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

Well, let the games begin. Epic vs. Silicon Knights. FIGHT!

Redgarl
Redgarl

It's really funny to see all the jokers running and saying that Gears is so fantastic that it mean that Epic cannot do any wrong. Sorry, but almost all the devs have gone through major delays with the Unreal 3 engine. Only Epic, which was way too busy to deliver what it promised, made a really good use of the Unreal 3 engine. For all the peoples saying Bioshock, the game was under development for 3 and half years and even so, the visual are not in par with Gears which was released a year before on 360. A lot of peoples are bashing SK because they just don't know them and they only care about the only good 360 time exclusive game coming from Epic. Talk about a bunch of fanboys. Only with Epic own counter suit, you can easily find who is the bad guy in all that trash!

surrealme
surrealme

It's rather hard for me to see SK's claims as legit considering the other seriously great games that have come out built on the Unreal 3 engine. Bioshock anyone? If Epic was holding back and not delivering how did those other developers manage to make such great games and why aren't they clamoring to join in a class action? Combine that with SK's ridiculous demands in this suit like forcing Epic to surrender all profits made from Gears and it just seems like SK hopped the short bus to crazytown. I don't have the facts so I don't know who's right or wrong here, but it just seems very fishy to me on SK's side of it, like they were expecting Epic to hold their hands the whole way because they didn't have the technical chops to get their game working without it.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I'm sorry, I didn't think Eternal Darkness is reason enough to want Too Human, as Eternal Darkness really only got a reputation because it was an M rated game published by Nintendo. Though, the bathtub moment did make me jump, but the rest of the game sucked, just like every other HP Lovecraft inspired work. And yeah, SK basically remade the original MGS and released it as Twin Snakes, with some minor changes to the game here and there, but that's basically like tracing over Konami's art.

DrCLos
DrCLos

I just hope that whatever the outcome, Silicon Knights and Epic can both continue to make great games. Gears of War was awesome and Eternal Darkness was my favorite game on the Gamecube. I look forward to seeing more from both developers.

Puckhog04
Puckhog04

@ Rulo: Right now there isn't an option to download the stuff on XBL because the title isn't even out on PC yet. You can bet that, at some point, soon after the PC release of Gears of War that the new content will be released on XBL for download. There's absolutely no reason it wouldn't be considering (if they were worrying about exclusive content) they wouldn't have ported Gears of War to PC otherwise. Frankly, i'm not sure if it's MS or Epic that wants to put it on PC to begin with but it seems like a waste to me. Just announce Gears of War 2 for the 360 and work on that. Making a 2nd iteration of Gears of War when it has already sold over 3 million copies on the 360 is stupid (especially considering the sales are severly hampered on computers because of the fact that most don't have gaming computers to run the games). But, anyway, expect the new content to appear on XBL soon after the Gears of War release on PC.

Bpg3D
Bpg3D

Silicon Knights should win this one.