Things are not looking good for Star Citizen and Squadron 42. Crytek has sued Cloud Imperium and Roberts Space Industries for violating their contract. According to the suit, Cloud Imperium was to develop only one game with CRYENGINE (Star Citizen) and not two (Star Citizen and Squadron 42). And while some may say that Squadron 42 is just the single-player mode of Star Citizen, the game is being sold as a standalone title, thus giving the impression of a second, separate game.
Moreover, and according to the contract, Cloud Imperium was meant to use all of Crytek’s logos everywhere. However, and after changing engines, Cloud Imperium removed them. Now we don’t know whether Crytek and Cloud Imperium settled things when the latter decided to move to the Lumberyard. If they did not and Cloud Imperium violated their contract – by simply moving to another engine – then the company is in big trouble.
What’s also interesting here is that according to the suit, Crytek actually “invested significant time and expense in creating impressive demonstrations and proofs-of-concept that were used to persuade the public to contribute financially to a “crowdfunding” campaign to support development of the video game.”
Furthermore, we don’t know whether their contract allowed Cloud Imperium to re-use all assets that were created in CRYENGINE in other engines, like the Lumberyard.
The suit filling is online and everyone can read it here.
In short, Crytek may have a case here as its contract with Cloud Imperium stated that Cloud Imperium would only use CRYENGINE as their engine (we all know that the game is now using Lumberyard), they removed mentions the CRYENGINE mentions and logos (the game now refers to its engine as Star Engine, that Cloud Imperium should not share proprietary info on CRYENGINE (however Cloud Imperium has a youtube series detailing elements of CRYENGINE) and provide Crytek with annual bugfixes and optimizations of CRYENGINE (which they didn’t do).
It will be interesting to see whether Cloud Imperium and Crytek will settle things out of court or not. We are also interested to see whether Cloud Imperium will counter those allegations and whether Amazon will step in!
Cloud Imperium got in touch with us and commented on the story.
“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.”