Star Citizen Dev Being Sued By Crytek Over Breach Of Contract And Copyright Infringement

Cloud Imperium says the lawsuit is "meritless."

109 Comments

German game developer and publisher Crytek is suing the developer of the ambitious PC space game Star Citizen over breach of contract and copyright infringement claims. Specifically, Crytek is suing Cloud Imperium Games on the claim that the the Star Citizen studio did not live up to the promises it made for using Crytek's CryEngine.

According to the complaint filed December 12 (via PC Gamer), Crytek agreed to a below-market rate for Cloud Imperium to use CryEngine with the agreement being that Cloud Imperium would prominently display the CryEngine logo in the game. The lawsuit says Crytek knew that displaying the CryEngine's logo was a "critical component" of the agreement between the two companies. The lawsuit goes on to say that Cloud Imperium founder Chris Roberts "publicly sought to minimize Crytek's contribution to Star Citizen."

All of this reportedly happened before Cloud Imperium Games switched game engines, from CryEngine to Amazon's Lumberyard. Also in the lawsuit is a claim by Crytek that its terms with Cloud Imperium specified that the Star Citizen studio would be required to send to Crytek a list of bug fixes and optimizations that it made to the CryEngine source code. In November 2015, Crytek said it reached out to Cloud Imperium for a "long overdue" list of these things, but Cloud Imperium did not make a good faith effort to provide it.

Also at issue in the lawsuit is Cloud Imperium's use of the CryEngine for Squadron 42, the single-player part of Star Citizen. Crytek says its agreement with Cloud Imperium for the CryEngine only covered Star Citizen, not Squadron 42, which it reportedly considers a separate game. Regarding the copyright infringement claims, Crytek claims that Cloud Imperium's infringement was "willful, reckless, and/or in blatant disregard for Crytek's rights as a copyright holder."

In the lawsuit, Crytek is looking to reclaim direct damages of around $75,000, along with "indirect damages, consequential damages (including lost profits), special damages, costs, fees, and expenses incurred by reason of Defendants' breach of contract and copyright infringement." Crytek also wants a "permanent injunction" against Cloud Imperium that would prevent the company from using any of Crytek's copyrighted work. Further still, Crytek is looking to claim an amount of Cloud Imperium's profits at trial based on its reported breach of contract and copyright infringement. Additionally, Crytek is seeking punitive damages in the amount to be determined during a trial.

In a statement to PC Gamer, Cloud Imperium said it is aware of the lawsuit, which it called "meritless." The studio said it is prepared to fight "vigorously" in court over this matter.

Another element of this lawsuit is that Crytek, facing financial difficulties in 2015, reached a CryEngine 3 licensing deal with Amazon worth as much as $70 million. This move reportedly helped Crytek out of its financial challenges.

Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project in history, raising $173.5 million by Cloud Imperium's latest count. Development on Star Citizen is ongoing, though a release date for the project has yet to be announced.

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nyran125tk

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Edited By nyran125tk

They should never of sold Farcry. I actually have a lot of respect for their games and their graphics. Crysis and Farcry 1 were awesome games. That STILL hold up today. Graphically. They were miles ahead of everyone else, when Crysis came out on PC. To be honest. I haven't really been blown away by graphics since.

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RyanBurnsRed

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@nyran125tk: They should never of? Did you forget the word have existed? Clearly not seeing as you used it in your next sentence...

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Shanzul

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Edited By Shanzul

"We did an outright buyout of the engine last year and have the source code, so while we hope all the noise about Crytek blows over, as they are great partners and friends to the project, if the worse happened we would be ok, as we’ve already branched the engine and have a large team that is adding features and supporting it every day here at CIG. So even in the worst case scenario we should be fine, but obviously we hope it does not come to that."

Cheers,

Erin

With this being the fact. Crytek has no legal stand against CiG since they bought out the engine for their own use while also saying they would use nothing but that engine since they now own it, it isn't in the contract standards of it being used on Cryteks side.

If it is hard to understand its like renting a game you basically are under certain standards and have to follow their rules. You buy the game fully you can piss all over it and they cant do anything but try and complain that you mistreated it.

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93ChevyNut

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SC didn't live up to something? Shocking....

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Pupchu

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But... can Lumberyards run Crysis..?

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Atzenkiller

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Man, Crytek more and more sounds like a really shitty company. And they're really desperate it seems. They should just shut down. Not like they'll be going anywhere which such an approach.

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p1p3dream

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I bet CryTek was banking on SC being a big help to their company.... I mean as anyone who's followed SC development, 75k is a drop in the barrell as far as their cash flow... It's pretty sad what's happened to Crytek. What happened to this company? Did they just blow their money on overly ambitious development projects that were too expensive to break even..?

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lorddaggeroff

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Edited By lorddaggeroff

Crytek sold their engine to Amazon was the dumbest idea, because now star citizen can roam free, royalties free.

Crytek could've placed a cave on star citizen and probabily made back 70million but they didn't.

They sold out and had no choice to GPL their engine because noone would use it for 1 million while the others are better else where.

The irony here is:

Cryteks engine before was a loading meme(that is if you played prey 2017) but SC is a loading free seemless game, something crytek could not achieve.

Now lumberyards more superior then cryengine.

Shame EA doesn't care about Mass effect the game that was supposed to be a minimal slice of star citizen.

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raven6666

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More publicity to SC....

Will be funny to see how much of Crytek code they still use :P

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Sorrow_316

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It’s been so long since SC was announced I forgot it existed to be honest.

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deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

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Seems like Crytek's death growl. They are in really bad shape.

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Shanzul

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Edited By Shanzul

This is basically whats happening, people get jealous when others are seen as superior and want to take them down a notch.In this case, CIG is making waves in an industry, and for some reason people take it personally and want to see them brought to the same level of other developers.

Crytek cant legitimately sue CIG because Crytek itself was not able to offer the support of what it was supposed to give to CiG due to the fact they have not paid their own teams and with that they failed to live up to there own terms which would void the contract and can be argued against.

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Shanzul

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@shanzul: Now PUBG on the other hand might be the SCAM or easiest cash grab ever and just drop and start fresh for another easy grab.

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leblnk

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Edited By leblnk

@shanzul: Sounds like youre mad at a man who has achieved great things more than anything. If he had signed with a better publisher there might be less hate.

Do you hate success stories? The guy was one of us not too long ago. Relax.

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nurnberg

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Edited By nurnberg

I would like it if the game media was more critical of Star Citizen. Right now, it looks like the biggest fraud in gaming history. Selling jpgs of fake promises for 1000$ is not acceptable. I mean, anyone reading about Star Citizen can see huge red flags. Chris Robbers and his church of Citizentology need to be exposed.

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Reavern

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@nurnberg: As expected, the worst Star Citizen troll on Gamespot returns to post another ignorant hate piece. You sound like Trump, making wild allegations of shady deals and calling for investigations. What exactly "needs to be exposed"? That Chris Roberts and Cloud Imperium Games are developing an incredibly ambitious game using millions of dollars voluntarily pledged from gamers who believe in the project? This may shock you, but that's not illegal, dumbass!

You either fundamentally don't understand Star Citizen's crowdfunding system, or you desperately want to Pay2Win but are butt-hurt that you can't afford $1000 digital ships. Poor you.

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nurnberg

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@reavern: You sound like a cult member of Citizentology. How much did you waste on that fraud? Blindly defending them won't give your money back, and won't help them release the game they promised either. Continue to defend that Ponzi scheme if you want... I'll laugh all the way to the bank. I have money and I am definitely not spending it on jpgs.

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Reavern

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@nurnberg: You sound like a dime-a-dozen internet troll with nothing better to do than spew venom and lies about whatever you hate -- which is probably everything, including your pathetic excuse for a "life".

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connorman01

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@nurnberg: jpgs?? you serious? you can literally fly the ships from crowd fund donations in the current build of the game you dingus. Do at least a google search before you make a stupid assumption.

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connorman01

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@zero_juice: I spent $40 and there are literally missions to do, a bounty system for PVP, space stations, and matchmaking for both FPS and flight combat. Maybe next time do at least one Google search before you hate on something you didn't do Jack shit for research on.

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Reavern

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@zero_juice: Firstly, Star Citizen primarily takes place in space, so "flying (ships) in empty space" is to be expected. Do you expect the space ships to fly through water?

Second, that's an ignorant accusation, because the space maps in Arena Commander are littered with asteroids and space stations. The Racing maps are in a floating city and the ships fly through gates. And the Alpha 3.0 PTU has 4 moons that can be landed on, with millions of square kilometres of territory to be explored from the ground or air.

Obviously you know nothing about Star Citizen and are just an ignorant hater!

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deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

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@nurnberg: It may seem odd to people who don't know what's going on. If you would actually follow the development, you'd understand what they are doing now, and where they are headed next.

It's technically an extremely complex game they are making (most complex in video gaming history, actually), and they need to make crap-tons of custom tools/tech to make stuff happen in this game, or to create things efficiently. It takes time.

Here's a question; What makes you think you can call them "fake promises"? You are implying that you know for a FACT that it's a fraud, but in reality you are basing that on gut-feeling and rumors. Good job mate.

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dexfm

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Edited By dexfm

@groowagon: If it is as ambitious and complex as you say I don't think we will live to see it finished. Another problem is that we don't have rigs for this type of game. Current technology can not sustain this type of "ambitiousness" (and by technology I mean mostly servers and network infrastructure)

The biggest issue I have with the game is that they sell ingame stuff when they already received what they asked for making the game

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Reavern

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@dexfm: Star Citizen is currently in Alpha and can be played on current gaming rigs and the servers can handle 60 players per instance. The tech to develop and play Star Citizen exists today. Our expectations for games are too low because most "AAA" game developers (and their greedy publishers/financiers) are more interested in playing it safe, focusing on console gaming, and using micro-transactions and P2W scams, rather than being ambitious or innovative. Admittedly, innovating isn't easy or cheap, but it's certainly possible with today's tech.

I bought a new gaming rig nearly 3 years ago, in part to run Star Citizen, and it still runs it at 30+ fps at 1080p on Very High settings. Admittedly, Star Citizen isn't a game that can be run on any console, and requires at least a $1500 mid-range gaming PC to run on low-to-medium settings. That's what Star Citizen backers signed up for -- it was in Chris Roberts' pitch video for the game. Anyone who complains that they can't afford a powerful enough gaming PC to run Star Citizen should've known what they were getting into when they pledged. I don't regret buying my gaming rig when I did, because, in addition to the Star Citizen Alpha, I've used it to play dozens of demanding AAA games, like Doom, The Witcher 3, Shadow of Mordor, Warhammer Total War, etc. I'm a PC gamer. I accept this.

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nurnberg

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@reavern: Lmao, you bought a gaming rig for nothing! Scam Citizen will never be released. It's funny that you brag about your three-year old gaming rig, while my gaming rig from 2016 is probably more powerful than yours. And guess what, just because I have money doesn't mean I'll give it to scammers and buy 1000$ ships. I'll buy actual games at normal prices.

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Reavern

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@nurnberg: It's no surprise that in addition to being a vile troll, you're also an illiterate moron, because you obviously couldn't comprehend what I wrote: I have a gaming PC to play MANY games, including Star Citizen, so I didn't "buy a gaming rig for nothing", dumbass.

I don't believe for a second that a PoS as ignorant and hateful as you could hold down any job that you could afford to buy a gaming PC. On the contrary, I'm certain that you live with your parents and they support you out of guilt for their failure to raise a functional human being and productive member of society.

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darkelf83

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darkelf83  Online

@dexfm: This is a classic example of extreme feature creep. It's like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going......

If the servers are supposed to handle a lot of this (I've no idea) then I've little faith in our current network infrastructure in the U.S.. From what I can dig up it looks like 24 people in a space together, which is pretty empty, hope they can up server capacity. Also wonder if they'll have a social space with lots of people or like space it will feel vast and empty.

I'll be upfront I don't really know anything about their "store" but for their sake I hope it cannot be considered pay to win. Given the recent atmosphere of the community. Of course the game would actually have to launch for there to be a concern.

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Reavern

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@darkelf83: The Alpha 3.0 PTU upped the instance cap to 60 players. CIG continues to up instance caps as they continue to improve and refine the netcode and bring more servers online.

Space is supposed to be vast and relatively empty. One of Star Citizen's professions will be exploring the enormous star systems and planets. Most players don't what to see hundreds of players/ships buzzing around space, getting in their way and griefing them.

Star Citizen's Store is a pledge store. Backers can buy game packages to play the game, and additional ships and components and merchandise, if they choose, all of which goes to the game's development. Everything that can be purchased with $$ can be earned in-game -- except for the largest cap ships, which CANNOT be bought with $$, and can only be purchased or found in-game. Some players might try to P2W but they can't buy a competitive advantage -- i.e. they can't pay for an elite variant of a ship that has +30% weapons, shields, and speed. There's no loot box bullshit in Star Citizen.

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Xristophoros

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Edited By Xristophoros

things can't get any worse than this for CIP... or can they? crytek is doing very poorly as a developer as well these days and needs all the revenue it can get. they have not put out a decent game since... crysis? if they win this case, maybe they can finally pay their employees the wages they are owed, eh?

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DaVillain-

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@Xristophoros: I'm just surprise Crytek has just enough money to pay the hungry Lawyers.

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Reavern

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@davillain-: S'Funny because two of Crytek's former lawyers were hired by CIG, presumably around the time Crytek was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and couldn't afford to pay their employees' wages for several months.

I suspect Crytek has hired some ambulance chasers for this lawsuit with the expectation it'll be settled rather than fought in court. If it goes to court, I believe Crytek will run out of money and have to drop the lawsuit. It's just a question whether it's cheaper for CIG to settle than fight a long legal war of attrition in court. CIG's lawyers said they intend to fight and will recover the cost of their legal fees when they win against Crytek. But Crytek would probably go bankrupt and couldn't make restitution. That's why CIG is more likely to settle and give Crytek a pittance; basically enough money to "f*** off and go buy yourself a coffee and a newspaper to look up job listings, losers."

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

If they signed a contract with terms that stupid with Crytek, they deserve to be sued if they broke them.

Looks like another round of fundraising will be needed! Release date? What's that.

I also like how they've feebly tried to claim Squadron 42 is a separate game. Separate game made with Star Citizen's money then? Instead of finishing Star Citizen? I would be furious if I had been stupid enough to pledge for this scam.

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deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

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@Thanatos2k: Single player mode was on to-do list since the initial pledge. They just split it to separate game. You just proved you have no fukken clue what's going on, but you like to scream scam for the fun of it with other kids.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@groowagon: Oh so it's just the single player component of Star Citizen and not a separate game, just like Crytek claimed in the lawsuit and Cloud Imperium feebly tried to deny?

That's the point, either they're lying in response to the lawsuit, or they're sleazier than previously known. One or the other, pick one Cloud Imperium!

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Reavern

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@Thanatos2k: Since when is a singleplayer campaign considered a separate game from a multiplayer online game? Is that where we're at? In 2017, MP games are considered the "core" game and the singleplayer campaign is just an after-thought? That's disgraceful. That's another that I HATE about EvilCorp (EA); they're "games as a service" scam. That's why I refuse to buy any EA games.

Star Citizen's singleplayer campaign was a major part of the appeal of the game. I'm a backer from the beginning and I pledged because I played Wing Commander and Freespace and I love sci-fi flight combat games with epic stories.

Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are like Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. They're the same game, but the singleplayer game was released first, then GTA Online was added a year later. It's not a separate game. You can't just buy GTA Online. You buy GTAV and GTA Online is included. They're the same game. Just like Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are the same game.

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deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

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@Thanatos2k: Or then the agreement isn't exactly like Crytek is claiming here, which is why CIG didn't feel the need to buy themselves out of it in the first place when they went for Lumberyard.

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Zerabp

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@groowagon: You do realize you just confirmed Cryteks case for them right? You may want to look at the actual lawsuit in question.

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deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

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@Zerabp: Squadron 42 is not releasing on CryEngine. It's releasing on Lumberyard.

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Zerabp

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@groowagon: When they first branched the game/s it was still Cryengine. They also agreed to only use Cryengine to develop the game so them switching engines is also a breech of contract. Also Lumberyard is still Cryengine amazon is licensing it and didn't by it outright, since their contracts with Crytek predate their contracts with Amazon their contracts with Crytek are more valid.

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deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

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@Zerabp: Sure, if that is indeed in the contract. Seems odd that CIG didn't buy themselves out of it in the first place when they switched to Lumberyard, if such contract truly exists in the form that Crytek now claims. Something's fishy here.

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Zerabp

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@Thanatos2k: If you read the Lawsuit they also agreed not to switch engines. It sucks so many people bought into this scam.

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darkelf83

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darkelf83  Online

@Zerabp: I see, the other article has much more information.

@Thanatos2k It is a separate game now. They official broke it off in 2016, you can buy one or the other.

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Zerabp

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@darkelf83: They agreed not to use an engine other than Crytek for their game. They are using lumberyard for "both" games. On top of that they split the game before they were using Lumberyard so they were still in violation of their contract then as well. Listen I have no doubt that Crytek is doing this because of their own failures but that doesn't mean that the case isn't valid. If you go read the court documents you will find out very quickly that this lawsuit will likely be the end of the game/s.

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