Developer Crytek, the creator of the CryEngine game engine, has filed a lawsuit against the development teams behind Star Citizen, accusing them of copyright infringement and breaching their contract.
The lawsuit lists Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries as the defendants, the two development teams working on Star Citizen. The developers had originally partnered with Crytek in order to use CryEngine for the game, and Crytek even helped with marketing for the title, but this relationship came to an end in late 2016 when CryEngine was replaced with Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine (itself in fact a fork of CryEngine).
Crytek alleges that the developers of Star Citizen are still using lines of code from CryEngine 3, supposedly spotted in the game’s marketing material, and that, as a result, the developers have improperly removed the Crytek logo from the start of the game and failed to disclose modifications made to the game engine. Because Star Citizen actually constitutes two separate games; the Persistent Universe online multiplayer game, and the Squadron 42 single-player game, Crytek alleges that Cloud Imperium Games have breached their contract in two separate instances.
Crytek is seeking damages from the developers of Star Citizen, as well as a permanent injunction to prevent them from continuing to use code from Crytek’s copyrighted game engine.
Star Citizen has not been without its troubles until now; the game has been repeatedly delayed after development started back in 2012. The Star Marine module was delayed several times during 2016, and the most recent update, Version 3.0 of the Star Citizen alpha, failed to release by its originally scheduled date in late 2016. The significant 3.0 update finally released in October of this year but is currently restricted to the game’s PTU, a testing environment accessible only to some players.
Squadron 42, the game’s single-player campaign, has also been delayed after originally being scheduled for a 2016 release. It presently has no formal release date.
Although Star Citizen has achieved record levels of funding, money seems to have provided no immunity from delays for the title, and some fans have grown frustrated at the seemingly slow progress. Some have even gone so far as to demand refunds for the money they pledged.
The Star Citizen development team has claimed in response to the lawsuit that Star Citizen has not used CryEngine since the switch to Lumberyard. A representative of the two development companies, Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, described the lawsuit as “meritless,” and stated that they would defend themselves in court.
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