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."

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