Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What I Learned From The Latest Crytek/CIG Court Filing

I don't mean to blog so much about Star Citizen, but the news keeps coming and the wars in EVE Online are just starting up. The lastest was a legal motion by Crytek to dismiss its lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games without prejudice. Since the lawsuit basically depends on the launch of Squadron 42, Crytek's lawyers want to dismiss the lawsuit and re-open the case when Squadron 42 finally launches. If the case is closed with prejudice, Crytek could not sue for the same thing at a later time.

I don't want to get into the technical issues in the case. First, I don't care. Second, I don't want to take the hours necessary to get into the details of the case. Finally, see point number 1.

What I am interested in are a few tidbits I didn't know about before reading the filing.

1. Cloud Imperium Games is not using Lumberyard. In December 2016, CIG announced it had switched from CryEngine to Lumberyard. But according to the Crytek filing, CIG is still using CryEngine.
This case has been marked by a pattern of CIG saying one thing in its public statements and another in this litigation. For example, at the outset of this case, CIG had publicly claimed it had switched to using the Lumberyard Engine for both Star Citizen and Squadron 42, but was forced to confirm during this litigation that no such switch had taken place. See Crytek’s Response to CIG’s Motion for Bond, Dkt. 74 at 1; CIG’s Reply in support of Motion for Bond, Dkt. 74, at 8 (“Crytek makes much of the fact that the code is the same . . .”).  The fact that CIG denied Crytek the credits to which it was due under the parties GLA without actually switching game engines is the basis for Crytek’s “credits claim” in this case.
2. Squadron 42 may not launch as a standalone game. Okay, I'm not a lawyer. But this really sounds like the question of Squadron 42 launching as a standalone game is up in the air. If the game does not launch separately from Star Citizen, as far as I can tell, the Crytek lawsuit is moot.


CIG's response (from CIG’s Objections and Responses to Crytek’s Interrogatories (11-22-2019)) was redacted, but the Crytek lawyers next comment was cutting:
While this came as a surprise to Crytek (and undoubtedly will to the public who has pre-paid for Squadron 42), assuming the truth of CIG’s response, Crytek’s Squadron 42 claim is not yet ripe.
3. The trial date is set for June. I didn't realize the parties had set a date. The case seems to have run forever.

After reading Crytek's submission to the court, I have a real tinfoil theory. So tinfoil that I don't want to rush the idea to the blog. But with the new information, I think I should buy popcorn stock.

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