German game publisher Crytek is suing Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) for breach of contract and copyright infringement. The story comes to us from Kotaku, which reports that the complaint alleges that CIG used Crytek's engine for another game (the standalone module Squadron 42), failed to collaborate, and shared Crytek's code with other parties, breaking confidentiality agreements. Those other parties, according to the lawsuit, include a series of public videos called Bugsmashers and a third-party technology company called Faceware.
When asked to comment by Kotaku, CIG sent over a statement:
"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."
Cloud Imperium Games and Crytek had originally had an agreement back in 2012 when Star Citizen was first launched as a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Cloud Imperium had used Crytek's CryEngine technology and collaborated with the publisher on marketing. However, in December of 2016, CIG announced that they had switched to Amazon's Lumberyard engine, which is based on CryEngine. Because Lumberyard is not CryEngine, but is instead based off of it, Crytek is suing CIG for breach of contract.
The lawsuit, filed in California, asserts:
"[Cloud Imperium] promised, among other things, (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. [CIG] utterly failed to follow through on those promises, and their actions and omissions constitute breaches of contract and copyright infringement and have caused substantial harm to Crytek."
Obviously, Crytek are not pleased with CIG switching to Lumberyard as Star Citizen's engine.
We will keep you updated as this story develops. If you want to read the lawsuit that was filed in the US District Court of California, Kotaku has added a version of the suit as a scribd document to the bottom of their article on the story.