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Crytek responds to CIG motion to dismiss Star Citizen case

Star Citizen Alpha

Star Citizen has been subject to a variety of controversial happenings in the last few months. Back in December, Crytek launched a copyright infringement suit against CIG and RSI over their use of Crytek IP and tech. Earlier this year, CIG filed a motion to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Crytek’s lawyers have hit back with a response and it’s not messing around.

This latest response from Crytek holds no punches and they have outlined clearly in this document why the court should not allow CIG to dismiss this case. The preliminary statement sums it up:

Defendant’s Motion seeking dismissal and other relief is without merit. Rather, that Motion is a blatant effort to impose delay and burden Crytek as it seels to vindicate its rights under its contract with Defendants and its copyrights.

The facts here are straightforward: Plaintiff Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) granted Cloud Imperium Games Corp (“CIG”) and Roberts Space Industries Corp (“RSI”) (collectively, “Defendants”) a license to use Crytek’s powerful video game development platform, CryEngine, in the development of Defendant’s video game called “Star Citizen”. Pursuant to that Game License Agreement (the “GLA”), Crytek agreed to provide technical support and know-how to Defendants and licensed CryEngine to Defendants at a discounted rate, in return for certain promises from Defendants.

But after accepting Crytek’s assistance  — and after raising record-breaking amounts from video game consumers in a crowdfunding campaign — Defendants began to break their promises to Crytek.

  • Defendants promised that they would develop Star Citizen with CryEngine, not any other development platform. But Defendants now boast that they have breached that promise, and are promoting a competing development platform.
  • Defendants promised that they would prominantly display Crytek’s copyright notices and trademarks within Star Citizen and in any marketing materials for Star Citizen. But Defendants have admittedly breached that promise.
  • Even though Defendants had licensed Crytek’s technology to develop only one game (Star Citizen) they later separated Star Citizen’s feature “Squadron 42” into a standalone game without a license to use Crytek’s technology in two games
  • Defendants promised to provide Crytek with any improvements or bug fixes that they made to CryEngine while developing Star Citizen. Defendants never made a good faith effort to honor that promise.
  • Defendants promised that they would maintian the condidentiality of Crytek’s valuable technology, But they published excerpts if Crytek’s source code unilaterally and shared Crytek’s technology with a third-party developer without Crytek’s approval.

Defendants say this action should never have been filed. Indeed, if only they had kept their promises, the action would never have ben filed. But now Crytek seeks to enforce its contractual rights and copyrights. Defendants deny any enforceable obligation to Crytek and move the court to dismiss Crytek’s claim entirely. Defendants’ argument simpy do not withstand scrutiny, and certainly cannot meet the demanding standard required to obtain dismissal of Crytek’s claims as a matter of law. The court should deny Defendants’ Motion and permit Crytek to proceed so that it may vindicate its rights.

The full document is lengthy and goes into more detail citing more references to specific areas of contention with links to forum posts made by CIG and other cases that may set precedent for copyright infringement. There’s going to be more to the discovery process and likely more motions in opposition to various aspects of the case filed. This is going to be a long ride for CIG.

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