Another chapter in the Star Citizen‘s rocky history might be closing soon, with recent developments in the Crytek vs. Cloud Imperium Games lawsuit.
This comes after a near year-long lawsuit, with the dispute being over Crytek’s CryEngine. Cloud Imperium Games, per their contract with Crytek, were to use the CryEngine solely for Star Citizen. However, with the creation of Squadron 42, which was a standalone FPS game allegedly running on the CryEngine, Crytek took issue with this, since the contract only pertained to creating one game.
For a while now, however, Star Citizen started to use Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine. We received a statement from Cloud Imperium Games last year, which said:
We are aware of the Crytek 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.
This is at the heart of this new document, which is another hit to Crytek. Crytek, the plaintiffs of the case, says the creation and promotion of the Star Engine (which uses Lumberyard) breached section 2.4 in their contract. The contract stipulates that during and for a period of two years after the terms of license, Cloud Imperium Games could not design, create, promote or license another game engine which competes with CryEngine.
It seems the judge found, in the “designing, developing, or creating” part of this suit, that the language was not clear enough on Crytek’s part. They found the allegations “are completely conclusory,” and, further:
[Crytek] merely parrot the language of section 2.4 itself and state, without more factual detail, that Defendants have breached the GLA. Such conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth at the pleading state.
Another part of this section ruled in favor of Cloud Imperium after Crytek alleged that the Star Citizen developers breached the contract for the same reason seen above, with other allegations.
As for the “promoting” aspect of it, the court document read: “Plaintiff alleges Defendants promoted Lumberyard only once in connection with its announcement on December 23, 2016, that it intended to replace CryEngine as its game.” This “solitary act” was deemed “insufficient” in proving that Cloud Imperium Games outright promoted the Lumberyard system. That was given a motion to dismissal, and this point was reiterated later on in a “Trademark-Related Argument” which also ended up unsubstantial.
Another big factor in this case was the ruling that “section 2.4 prohibited Defendants from licensing a competing game engine to a third-party licensee, but did not preclude Defendants from licensing from Amazon.” What may have been a little error in language had a big impact on the case, clearly.
So, essentially, while the case in not over yet, this very important aspect of this case has made progress. The conclusion was that the Court “GRANTS with leave to amend Defendants’ MTD,” MTD meaning “motion to dismissal.” Now Crytek has 21 days to file an updated plea or else the case will be dismissed.
Whether Crytek files a new update is up in the air, but it looks like this long lawsuit might be seeing an end sometime soon.
What are your thoughts on the case? Let us know in the comments below!