Developer says it will “defend vigorously against” the lawsuit.
Crytek is suing Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) for breach of contract and copyright infringement over the use of its CryEngine.
The lawsuit, which names both CIG and Roberts Space Industries as defendants, claims the companies “utterly failed to follow through” on the following promises agreed upon in their Game License Agreement (GLA):
“(i) to use the CryEngine game development platform exclusively and to promote that platform within the video game, (ii) to collaborate with Crytek on CryEngine development, and (iii) to take a number of steps to ensure that Crytek’s intellectual property was protected.”
In late 2016, CIG openly announced it was moving development of Star Citizen from CryEngine to Lumberyard, Amazon’s CryEngine-based game engine. According to Crytek, the GLA “did not permit Defendants to use any other video game engine in Star Citizen except for CryEngine.”
Regarding developmental collaboration, Crytek claims CIG agreed to provide bug fixes and optimizations for CryEngine “[a]nnually during the Game’s development period, and again upon publication of the final Game.” According to Crytek, CIG refused to do so on two separate occasions.
Crytek also claims CIG breached a confidentiality agreement by publishing videos containing confidential “excerpts of information from CryEngine” and sharing “underlying technology for CryEngine” with a third party.
Furthermore, Crytek claims CIG used its CryEngine without a license for development on Star Citizen’s single-player spinoff, Squadron 42. Crytek says the GLA “limits the use of the CryEngine computer program to a single video game called Star Citizen.” By offering Squadron 42 as a separate purchase, Crytek says CIG is “in violation of copyright laws.”
In response to the lawsuit, CIG issued the following statement to Polygon:
“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.”
CIG didn’t comment on potential ramifications the lawsuit could have on the ongoing development of Star Citizen and Squadron 42.
Stay tuned to IGN for the latest developments on the lawsuit.
Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter @jdsirani.