Star Citizen Dev Responds To Crytek Lawsuit, Says It Makes "Scandalous" Claims
Developer of the hugely ambitious PC space game fires back in the ongoing legal case.
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Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games has responded to the lawsuit brought against it by German developer and publisher Crytek. The company filed its suit last month with breach of contract and copyright infringement claims, principally over the game's use of Crytek's CryEngine. At the time, CIG said the claims were meritless, and now the studio has responded further with its own official filing in which it seeks to have the suit dismissed.
A motion filed recently and spotted by GI.biz begins by saying, "This action never should have been filed." It goes on to claim that Crytek's lawsuit "sacrifices legal sufficiency for loud publicity."
At the heart of the lawsuit is Crytek's claim that its agreement with CIG over the use of the CryEngine only covered Star Citizen and not Squadron 42, which Crytek says it believes is a completely separate game. In its response, CIG submitted a copy of its license agreement with Crytek that shows clearly that the company had a deal with Crytek that covered Star Citizen and its "related space fighter game," Squadron 42. Weirdly, the agreement refers to Star Citizen as "Space Citizen."
CIG's agreement with Crytek also says that Crytek gave CIG a global license to "exclusively embed CryEngine in the game." CIG claims that Crytek's interpretation of this line in particular is "tortured."
"Crytek contorts the word 'exclusively' to argue that the word means that CIG somehow is required to use the Engine in the game," CIG said. "The plain language of the GLA where the grant of rights to CIG appears, plus the well established concept of an exclusive license, instead establish that the word 'exclusively' simply means that CIG's right to use the Engine in the game is exclusive to CIG and Crytek may not give that right to anyone else."
Part of what appears to be angering Crytek is that CIG switched game engines from CryEngine to Amazon's Lumberyard back in 2016.
Also in the response, CIG says Crytek makes "immaterial, impertinent, scandalous (and false) allegations" regarding one of the chief negotiations of the licensing deal. CIG co-founder Ortwin Freyermuth worked at Crytek before joining CIG, and Crytek said this was a conflict of interest that was never sorted out. But in CIG's response, the company said Crytek gave CIG a written waiver that said it was OK for Freyermuth to be part of the negotiations.
Go to GI.biz to get more details on CIG's response to Crytek's lawsuit. This matter is clearly not resolved as of yet, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.
As part of 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.
Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project in history. It has raised more than $176 million, bringing in $35 million in 2017 alone. For more, check out one hour's worth of gameplay from Squadron 42 in the video embedded above.