Star Citizen – the long-in-development crowdfunded project from Chris Roberts’ Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries – could be facing some legal trouble.
Star Citizen, the various components of which are perpetually being delayed, has raised a frankly absurd amount through crowdfunding. The game is still routinely bringing in a few million a month, somehow, and eventually we suppose it’ll be playable (you can buy land in the game right now while you wait).
Now Crytek, the company in control of CryEngine, is attempting to sue the studios working on Star Citizen over their use of CryEngine 3. Although both teams claim to have moved away from their engine, onto Amazon’s Lumberyard, Crytek disputes this, claiming that the studio continues to use their engine despite having removed all mention of it from their marketing materials, putting them in breach of the contract they originally signed.
Lumberyard is actually based on a version of CryEngine that Amazon purchased from Crytek, which makes Crytek’s claim that their marketing materials show lines of CryEngine code on screens seem like it might not be too hard to counter (this is, admittedly, speculation on my part though). Essentially Crytek has taken the position that Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries are continuing to use a modified version of CryEngine 3 in their game, but have removed all mention of the engine from it.
Polygon has a comment from a representative from the studios, which makes their position on the matter pretty clear:
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.
As with most court cases, this might take a while to resolve – we’ll keep you updated if there are any major developments.