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Crytek sues Star Citizen studios over use of CryEngine

Star Citizen Alpha

Crytek, makers of CryEngine, have brought a potentially ruinous lawsuit against the makers of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, Cloud Imperium Games.

The complaint names Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and Roberts Space Industries (RSI) as the defendants. Both companies were co-founded by Chris Roberts, the creator of the Wing Commander franchise.

Crytek alleges CIG and RSI improperly removed the CryEngine logo from loading screens and promo materials, and that the teams failed to properly disclose modifications to CryEngine 3 as part of their licensing agreement. There are also concerns over what code was used in what way, as some code seems to point to CryEngine 3 as still being in use by RSI/CIG.

Crytek is asking for direct damages, indirect damages and a permanent injunction to prevent CIG and RSI “from continuing to possess or use the Copyrighted Work.”

All that could mean poring over the code of an incredibly complex game. This is because of the confusing situation around the engines being used for the two games.

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CIG made the decision in 2016 to switch development from CryEngine as a whole to Amazon’s Lumberyard engine. The confusing bit, which is part of the allegations from CryTek, is that Lumberyard is a fork from CryEngine. This relation is part of what’s driving Crytek claims against both games.

Here are some scans of the initial filing documents for your perusal.

A rep for CIG responded with the following comment:

“We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court,” the spokesperson said. “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.”

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