Crytek Sues Star Citizen Dev Cloud Imperium For Breach of Contract Over CryEngine Licensing

Written by Jon Sutton on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 3:23 PM
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Crytek seems to love courtrooms and legal dramas, like a multinational corporation version of my mum,  so it should come as little surprise to see it’s attempting to sue Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) for Copyright Infringement and Breach of Contract.

The issue stems from CIG licensing the CryEngine for the development of a single game - Star Citizen. Within the last couple of years, CIG announced that its single-player Squadron 42 component would be sold as a standalone product, with Crytek arguing this makes it a second separate game that was never part of the licensing deal.

Further complications arise when Crytek allege a deal was inked wherein Cloud Imperium Games could use the CryEngine at a reduced rate in exchange for putting Crytek logos on the splash screens and within the menus of Star Citizen. Last year, CIG moved engines from CryEngine to Amazon Lumberyard, an offshoot of CryEngine that was licensed from Amazon after Amazon acquired the rights to use and modify CryEngine for its own needs in a $70 million deal.

After changing engines, CIG removed all of Crytek’s logos from the game, potentially violating the agreement. Crytek also alleges that assets created in CryEngine have been re-used in Lumberyard without compensation. Crytek says it has “invested significant time and expense in creating impressive demonstrations and proofs-of-concept that were used to persuade the public to contribute financially to a “crowdfunding” campaign to support the development of [Star Citizen].”

On the surface, it seems Crytek may actually have a case here, although it’s something that’s sure to rumble on in courts for a long while to come. The full filing of the federal breach can be seen here, although beware it doesn’t exactly make for light reading.

CIG has responded swiftly to the allegations, issuing the following statement:

“We are aware of the complaint having been filed in the US District Court. CIG hasn’t used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”

Should Crytek actually win this case, then this could have huge ramifications for Star Citizen. Crytek would be entitled to an upfront licensing fee and a proportion of the revenue, revenue which has no doubt already been invested in additional development.

What are your thoughts on Crytek’s move here? Is it a legitimate claim? Has CIG knowingly breached the contract? Let us know your thoughts!

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05:58 Dec-15-2017

A part of the case is that their logo isn't on the splash screen etc, how is this valid when the game ISN'T EVEN RELEASED YET?

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23:11 Dec-14-2017

soo, is this the most expensive video game to develop yet or will it be?

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07:29 Dec-15-2017

nope there are other games that costed wwaaayyyyy more.

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17:22 Dec-15-2017

Destiny 1 with 250M for the base game and another 250M $ for marketing

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21:18 Dec-14-2017

Sounds like Crytek wants money, why dont they just release a game based purely around MT's?

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18:56 Dec-24-2017

They did, Warface

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20:48 Dec-14-2017

So they have money to sue other companies but dont have money to pay their employees , huh nice

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19:38 Dec-14-2017

Crytek no matter right or wrong, can you please wait till the game is released in order to sue? or I am afraid we will never get it xD

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20:46 Dec-20-2017

The very fact that they are suing before release to me screams money grab. If they had a legitimate case then wouldn't it be better to wait until CIG finishes and releases the game and the "damage" is done and set in stone? I'm no lawyer so maybe not, but most lawsuits against dev studios are after the game releases.

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19:32 Dec-14-2017

Star Citizen the biggest scam in Gaming History

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20:36 Dec-14-2017

Don't judge before its released. If it is then it will get what it deserves, too much money not to.

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18:23 Dec-14-2017

Honestly I really see this being a legitimate claim on Crytek's part. Also this puts star citizen even further in development hell. personally after how outrageous the prices were to get into the game, part of me hopes it will fail. coversly, if it succeeds, it would really show that oyu can be ambitious and pull it off.

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19:38 Dec-14-2017

Which prices you mean exactly? 2 years ago you could get SC and SQ42 with a ship at around 45€. Right now they just split the packages and you get full access to the games (when they release) if you buy one. The prices for the game packages are logical. People should just stop buying any more ships and virtual land. This is the only incentive for them to finish the game.

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05:41 Dec-16-2017

I hadn't looked into it because I never had a PC that could run it until now, I had heard the ship accesses were several hundred bucks, just to get into the game.

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20:50 Dec-20-2017

The ship prices range from $20-5000. All these ships can be bought in game after release with in game money and will no longer be able to be purchased with real cash. You will be able to buy in game money with irl money however. The price to actually buy the game and a starter ship is $45. If you want the single-player game, that is also $45. Alternatively, you can buy both of them together for $60. Hope this explains how it works and how it's planned to work as of right now. All of this is subject to change though, as per CIG policy.

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18:06 Dec-21-2017

yeah that actually makes more sense and is less obnoxious. when we get a definite release date I might poke it, because space sims.

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13:53 Dec-24-2017

How the hell is charging 45€ for an early access hell reasonable!?

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17:47 Dec-14-2017

I have an idea just to freeze yourself to finally see when this game will finally come out

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17:34 Dec-14-2017

huh, good I left CryEngine in advance with my UG3 project xD

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17:18 Dec-14-2017

I stopped carrying about this game a long time ago, also i hate the micro-trans that the game will have.

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17:39 Dec-14-2017

They never said they will have microtransactions
Stop spreading lies

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17:55 Dec-14-2017

How else would you call selling digital terrain for $100 the parcel?

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18:20 Dec-14-2017

!) That's not micro-transactions, same as buying ships isn't. It's to help the development and they've said when the game releases that you won't be able to directly buy ship, land, and the like with money.
2) They have said that they will include micro-transactions in the game post-release. You will be able to buy in-game money, UEC, with IRL money.
Take this as you will. But it's hard to consider stuff pre-release micro-transactions when the game isn't out, and they've said 100% of funding pre-release goes into development of the game. That's the nature of crowdfunding.

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19:44 Dec-14-2017

" It's to help the development "


Yeah, right. Like 173 million dollars aint enough already. That thing they are doing with ships, virtual land etc, is atrocious. People that keep spending money on ships and stuff are just as responsible as CIG is for this game's constant delays.

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03:36 Dec-15-2017

@Cross92
Star Wars The Old Republic costed 200 Million Dollars in development costs!
173 Million Dollars incl. marketing is nothing compared to other big games!
Not to mention that Star Citizen is a game of scope never tried before!


Constant delays? Skyrim took 10 years to develop. Also u don't realize how long games normally take to develop, just because you don't hear about them until Beta

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10:09 Dec-15-2017

I do realise that some of you need to stop being blindfolded fanboys.

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15:58 Dec-15-2017

@Neuer31 yet they didn't talk about Skyrim being released every ****ing year of development

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16:40 Dec-16-2017

AFAIK.buying digital goods IS micro-transaction,be it to help the development... IT IS what IT IS . logged-in just to say that. how
the fck did he even get 5 upvotes. srsly....

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16:39 Dec-14-2017

i guess star citizen will be delayed some more

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16:34 Dec-14-2017

eeeeehh, yeah. Star Citizen has been taking it's sweet time but now it seems that it's going to be delayed to the next millenia after they lose this case. Their quick statement also made zero sense in contrast to the claims but I guess that's more about 'preserving their secrets' at this point


A shame really, I would've loved to get into the game, someday..

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16:40 Dec-14-2017

If this officially screws up the game's development and all hope of a release dies, I wouldn't mind - at least we would have a solid state of where the game is... I mean its been years with no clear criteria of what to expect and by when...

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17:16 Dec-14-2017

If that happens some other studio might pick this up and finish it, this would no doubt be quite a money well at any rate

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