Thursday, December 14th 2017

Crytek Sues Cloud Imperium Games for Breach of CryEngine Contract

Crytek has filed a suit against Cloud Imperium Games (developers of Star Citizen and Squadron 42) for wrongdoings regarding Crytek's CryEngine. Cloud Imperium Games has recently moved over to Amazon's Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform triple-A game engine which has been built-upon by Amazon, based and licensed from Crytek's CryEngine in 2015. Apparently, in doing so, Cloud Imperium Games has violated a number of agreed-upon items on their engine licensing contract, for which Crytek is now going after for damages and compensation.

The essence of the suit stands in that Crytek only licenced its engine for the development of a single game - Star Citizen - and that CIG is now developing a second one in Squadron 42, for which it had no rights to use Crytek's IP and assets. Futhermore, CIG agreed, when signing the contract, to use Crytek's logos as part of the game development and final game presentation, so as to provide awareness for the company, but has since removed them from all instances of the game.
Crytek is also saying that they "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 development of the video game.", of which they really have no gains to show for. As part of the suit, Crytek is going after at least $75,000 in direct damages (excluding all indirect damages), as well as a percentage of the profits CIG achieves with its games, among other forms of compensation - all to be determined in court.
CIG has responded to the Crytek lawsuit as it was originally covered in DSOGaming, saying that "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." I guess we'll see all about this fight, won't we? Sources: DSOGaming, Crytek Lawsuit @ SCRIBD
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48 Comments on Crytek Sues Cloud Imperium Games for Breach of CryEngine Contract

#1
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
Wait, so now Squadron 42 is another game? This is the only reason I even put any money into this debacle...Keep moving the goal posts CIG it’s going to catch up with you soon...
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#2
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
INSTG8R, post: 3768792, member: 4203"
Wait, so now Squadron 42 is another game? This is the only reason I even put any money into this debacle...Keep moving the goal posts CIG it’s going to catch up with you soon...
That's Crytek's assertion, which a large portion of their case relies upon. CiG always said Squadron 42 would be separate from Star Citizen a la SC is the multiplayer module, S42 is the singleplayer module. I've never noticed them refer to it as a whole separate game. Crytek are dragging themselves out of the tar pit and have been for many years now. They're essentially an IP company, and this sort of litigation is a desperate attempt at raking in some cash since CiG have moved their business to Amazon (with LumberYard).

EDIT: They also heavily relied on CiG to provide Crytek with bugfixes for their engine. As part of their GLA CiG said they'd send back source code to Crytek with bugfixes for their engine, optimisations etc. CiG started doing a series called bugsmashing a while back, which Crytek reference in this case. Basically a number of things have happened over the last two years between Crytek and CiG, and instead of litigating when things happened, Crytek have now decided to litigate just as they discover that CiG are trying to distance themselves from Crytek (because they're actually a bit of a cancer now) upon discovery that they're using a competitor instead. Seriously, go read the GLA between Crytek and CiG. It reeks of desperation on Crytek's part and is remarkably strict, almost on EA levels of "use Frostbite or we will execute you".

In fairness CiG shouldn't have let themselves get into this state. I am curious however about which parts of the GLA are actually able to stand in court. You can write T&Cs however you like, demanding firstborns etc, but it whether it holds it weight in law that matters.
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#3
Manu_PT
Scam Citizen, episode 156678. The best one after paying for land.

They will fail so miserably and I will never get my money back.
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#4
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
RCoon, post: 3768800, member: 104854"
That's Crytek's assertion, which a large portion of their case relies upon. CiG always said Squadron 42 would be separate from Star Citizen a la SC is the multiplayer module, S42 is the singleplayer module. I've never noticed them refer to it as a whole separate game. Crytek are dragging themselves out of the tar pit and have been for many years now. They're essentially an IP company, and this sort of litigation is a desperate attempt at raking in some cash since CiG have moved their business to Amazon (with LumberYard).
Which is a little odd in itself considering Lumberyard is Cryengine based...
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#5
robert3892
INSTG8R, post: 3768806, member: 4203"
Which is a little odd in itself considering Lumberyard is Cryengine based...
That is not the point at all. This is about a legal binding contract to which has been violated multiple times. There is a confidentiality agreement in the contract which was also violated multiple times. For clarity read the lawsuit itself located here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/367101474/Crytek-v-CIG
Posted on Reply
#6
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
INSTG8R, post: 3768806, member: 4203"
Which is a little odd in itself considering Lumberyard is Cryengine based...
People prefer to use the engine under Amazon's terms than Crytek's. Crytek have done nothing with their engine and rely on developers to backpost their work on the engine to provide improvements. Lumberyard itself is miles ahead of what Cryengine used to be https://www.pcgamesn.com/breakaway/amazon-lumberyard-cryengine-update
robert3892, post: 3768807, member: 70978"
This is about a legal binding contract to which has been violated multiple times. There is a confidentiality agreement in the contract which was also violated multiple times.
For the record you can't legally bind somebody to do something illegal/unreasonable/completely impracticable. You can write what you want in a LA, but it's down to what you can actually litigate in court. I think CiG would have er'd on the side of caution and checked their legal options before taking any actions over the last two years. I don't know who is in the wrong but something smells odd, especially when it comes from Crytek. Just watch and wait to see what comes of this story. Methinks a privately agreed settlement behind closed doors.
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#7
robert3892
RCoon, post: 3768808, member: 104854"
People prefer to use the engine under Amazon's terms than Crytek's. Crytek have done nothing with their engine and rely on developers to backpost their work on the engine to provide improvements. Lumberyard itself is miles ahead of what Cryengine used to be https://www.pcgamesn.com/breakaway/amazon-lumberyard-cryengine-update
What you're saying has nothing to do with the agreement CIG signed with Crytek. That is a legal binding agreement. Please read the lawsuit in the link I posted previously.
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#8
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
robert3892, post: 3768810, member: 70978"
What you're saying has nothing to do with the agreement CIG signed with Crytek. That is a legal binding agreement. Please read the lawsuit in the link I posted previously.
You're reading a lawsuit, not the original GLA. You can't possibly say what in the GLA is actually legitimately legally binding without seeing it. Patent trolls exist, though I'm not saying Crytek has reached those levels yet. Don't simply judge a party because they're being sued, or because you have a predisposition to dislike the defendents. I'm no fan of CiG and have all but given up on their pipe dream. I'm not beyond legal sensibilities however.
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#9
bpgt64
robert3892, post: 3768810, member: 70978"
What you're saying has nothing to do with the agreement CIG signed with Crytek. That is a legal binding agreement. Please read the lawsuit in the link I posted previously.
As I understand it, Crytek basically went defunct what...in 2015? Stopped paying it's people. Not sure how you hold up on your agreements when all your people leave due to non-payment. And if Crytek wasn't able to hold up on it's end of that agreement, CIG should have the ability to legally break any outstanding agreements. A contract goes both ways.
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#10
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
bpgt64, post: 3768821, member: 60142"
As I understand it, Crytek basically went defunct what...in 2015? Stopped paying it's people. Not sure how you hold up on your agreements when all your people leave due to non-payment. And if Crytek wasn't able to hold up on it's end of that agreement, CIG should have the ability to legally break any outstanding agreements. A contract goes both ways.
Ugh, it gets messy. As a governor and director I have access to their various filings, accounts, documents etc on a online portal. Crytek UK Limited was dissolved in 2016 officially, but they spent a good few years slowly transferring their shares and IP to Crytek Gmbh. This was ongoing since 2010 (see attachment) and nobody seemed to notice... The Founders and directors of the two companies are identical. Two brothers remained directors at UK Limited while the third (Cevat, now Crytek Gmbh CEO) set up the Gmbh. I might also add that while Crytek was refusing payments to their employees, the CEO Cevat was raking in $357,000 a year plus bonuses plus "compensations" while the company was pulling just over half a million in profit a year. He was paying himself and his brothers handsomly while "delaying" payments as he put it to his employees. They were into some really shady stuff. The only reason the Crytek Gmbh exists today is because of an anonymous donor who injected cashflow into Cevat's Gmbh, and to this day he refuses to disclose the information of who that was.

EDIT: If the Yerli brother's were unbelievable stupid, the GLA would have been legally bound between CiG and Crytek UK Limited. As such since the company was dissolved and nobody made an agreed upon update to the GLA or if there is no law automatically transferring legally binding documents like GLA's between international entities technically controlled by one another... I don't even know. I need to see that GLA.
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#11
bug
Once again taking it to the next level: already being sued, with no finished product in sight.
Of course, this is a perfect excuse for another 1-2 years delay. Or maybe asking for more funds "because the lawsuit is beeding us dry". Now where did I put that popcorn?
Posted on Reply
#13
erocker
*
The essence of the suit stands in that Crytek only licenced its engine for the development of a single game - Star Citizen - and that CIG is now developing a second one in Squadron 42, for which it had no rights to use Crytek's IP and assets.
This makes no sense. Both the single player (Squadron 42) and the Star Citizen were announced at the same time.
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#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
On the filing (# according to the filing)...

#2 They so oversell the value of their engine. CIG/RSI abandoned Crytek because it reached a point where Crytek was dragging down production.

#3 Unless they have documented proof of that CIG/RSI contracted Crytek to invest in Star Citizen's marketing campaign, this point is going no where. Crytek likely considered any expensive an investment back into their engine at the time so those resources are simply spent and CIG/RSI is not liable for it.

#4 Basically admits #3 wasn't under contract. CIG/RSI did the things Crytek says here for years. As the scope of the project grew, it became increasingly clear that Crytek is taking more than its giving. Crytek may feel cheated, but so was CIG/RSI. Judge will take that into consideration.

#22 Unless they have documentation that proves it, I don't think this holds water. Roberts always called the single-player component of the game "Squadron 42." CIG/RSI will likely make the argument that they just gave the campaign a name (which isn't extraordinary in the game industry).

#23 Stand-alone video game...as a component of Star Citizen. You're still going to require the core game assets to play it so it's not a separate game--you're just not getting everything when you buy the standalone version.

#33/34 Crytek may have an argument here. Just because Roberts renames the engine doesn't mean he has license to do so. Roberts said "We stopped taking new builds from Crytek towards the end of 2015" so this is close to a year later. CIG/RSI's responsibility doesn't end unless there was a written agreement to do so.

#38 Is also pretty damning. Again, judge will have to take into consideration that CryEngine became a burden to development.

#39 Crytek earned the ire of CIG/RSI by being very unhelpful.

Section D: Since CIG/RSI changed to Lumberyard, this was something they could no longer do because they entered into an agreement with Amazon. The "bug fixes and optimizations" are no longer something Crytek can claim from CIG/RSI. CIG/RSI will easily argue that there was literally no changes that effect CryEngine so they didn't provide any...because there weren't any. Section D will be thrown out.

#50 I don't think will gain much traction because Star Citizen was crowdsourced. It will be an uphill climb to prove that CIG/RSI showed enough to actually damage Crytek.

#51 If Crytek can get Faceware to vouch for their claim, it will stick. If CIG/RSI can prove that they only received their own information, then it won't.

I think Crytek will probably get something for severing the contract but I suspect it will be substantially less than they want. Case in point: I highly doubt Crytek will get a share of sales like they're demanding.
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#15
bug
erocker, post: 3768841, member: 28484"
This makes no sense. Both the single player (Squadron 42) and the Star Citizen were announced at the same time.
Back then, it really sounded like Squadron 42 will be just SC ina sandbox with a story. Over time, it has become increasingly more apparent Squadron 42 will become a game on its own. That may be what the lawsuit is about. But I honestly don't care about two companies doing their laundry in public.
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#16
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Moral of the story is that CIG/RSI should have signed a severance agreement at the end of 2015 with Crytek.
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#17
TheinsanegamerN
bug, post: 3768828, member: 157434"
Once again taking it to the next level: already being sued, with no finished product in sight.
Of course, this is a perfect excuse for another 1-2 years delay. Or maybe asking for more funds "because the lawsuit is beeding us dry". Now where did I put that popcorn?
INB4 "we had to drop squadron 42, despite being the most expensive game ever produced, because we weere given a lolsuit. In other news, the MMO will now have lootboxes to determin whether or not you get to keep your land. Start preordering crates now, only a limited number will be produced per day!!!"

Roberts cant keep his promises. As awful as it sounds, there needed to be a publisher holding his leash for star citizen to be any good. I'll be amazed if the game ever releases.
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#18
bug
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3768901, member: 127292"
INB4 "we had to drop squadron 42, despite being the most expensive game ever produced, because we weere given a lolsuit. In other news, the MMO will now have lootboxes to determin whether or not you get to keep your land. Start preordering crates now, only a limited number will be produced per day!!!"

Roberts cant keep his promises. As awful as it sounds, there needed to be a publisher holding his leash for star citizen to be any good. I'll be amazed if the game ever releases.
Lootboxes are distasteful, but I think the fuel for ships should become a microtransaction :p
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#19
TheinsanegamerN
bug, post: 3768904, member: 157434"
Lootboxes are distasteful, but I think the fuel for ships should become a microtransaction :p
Literal space gas stations. Oh, and the in game character needs to be hungry, so you'd have to buy food at said stations too! :laugh:
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#20
XiGMAKiD
No wonder CIG going away from Crytek, a company with great talent (at least visual wise) and bad management

Also, It's been a while since I read something called Star Citizen, I hope it's released in my lifetime
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#21
bug
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3768916, member: 127292"
Literal space gas stations. Oh, and the in game character needs to be hungry, so you'd have to buy food at said stations too! :laugh:
Also thirsty so they have to pay for the bathroom afterwards ;)
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#22
TheinsanegamerN
bug, post: 3768923, member: 157434"
Also thirsty so they have to pay for the bathroom afterwards ;)
And Taxes! There need to be taxes on your income in game so in game infrastructure can be maintained. And if you dont have enough money in game your ship will be impounded and you thrown into jail until you can pay, but dont worry, you can solve that with a small micro-transaction to pay off your virtual taxes!

Heck, Roberts may be creating the greatest life simulator of all time! :roll:
Posted on Reply
#23
bug
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3768931, member: 127292"
And Taxes! There need to be taxes on your income in game so in game infrastructure can be maintained. And if you dont have enough money in game your ship will be impounded and you thrown into jail until you can pay, but dont worry, you can solve that with a small micro-transaction to pay off your virtual taxes!

Heck, Roberts may be creating the greatest life simulator of all time! :roll:
I thought taxes were implied. All those space roads aren't going to maintain themselves, are they?
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#24
mcraygsx
Breach of contact is breach of contract at this point.
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#25
erocker
*
bug, post: 3768857, member: 157434"
Back then, it really sounded like Squadron 42 will be just SC ina sandbox with a story. Over time, it has become increasingly more apparent Squadron 42 will become a game on its own. That may be what the lawsuit is about. But I honestly don't care about two companies doing their laundry in public.
I watched the announcement in 2012 and from my perspective he was talking about two separate games. The video is up on YouTube. As far as the legal part, yeah.. Yawn. Just seems like CryTek is in desperation mode and this is obvious from what's been going on with them for the past couple of years.
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