Epic Games sued by Silicon Knights

Epic Games sued by Silicon Knights

By Ben Parfitt

July 20th 2007 at 9:43AM

Too Human dev claims Epicâ??s Unreal Engine 3 failed to deliver and harmed other studios

Development studio Silicon Knights, which is working on Xbox 360 shooter Too Human, has filed a lawsuit against Gears of War developer Epic Games which alleges that the company failed to deliver a working version of its Unreal Engine 3.

Gamasutra reports that Silicon Knights believes that it has lost revenues as a result of delays experienced in the development of Too Human – delays that it blames on Unreal engine 3. The studio also alledges that the delays in the rollout of the 360 and PS3 versions of UE3 has harmed other studios. Silicon Knights has now ditched use of the engine in its game and is working on its own in-house tool.

Next-Gen quotes the lawsuit as stating:

“Epic violated the Agreement with Silicon Knights by, among other things, failing to provide a working game engine, which has caused Silicon Knights to experience considerable losses and ultimately has forced Silicon Knights to spend its limited time and resources on building its own game engine rather than in developing its video game.

“Epic never intended to deliver Unreal Engine 3 as a fully functional game engine as promised.”

Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack added: “We strongly believe that from the perspective of someone waiting for a game engine that Epic promised it would deliver almost two years ago, it seems pretty clear that Gears was built on the backs of the Unreal Engine licensees.

“We certainly stand by our allegations in the lawsuit that instead of using our licensing fees to develop and support the Unreal Engine 3, Epic used that money to build Gears.

“We have had extensive problems with the Unreal Engine 3 that Epic has been unwilling or unable to rectify. For more than a year, we have been trying to reach an agreement with Epic to resolve these issues without resorting to litigation, but were unable to come to reasonable terms with Epic.

“Regrettably, we are now forced to go to court in order to achieve satisfaction. We remain hopeful, however, that we can reach a reasonable business resolution with Epic at some point.”

A statement from Epic VP Mark Rein countered: "This morning we were served with a lawsuit by Silicon Knights. We believe the claims against us are unfounded and without merit and we intend to fully defend against them.

"We'd love to tell you more about it but unfortunately our lawyers want us to save our comments for the courthouse so we're going to do our best to comply with their wishes."

"In that vein we'd appreciate if our friends in the industry and media would refrain from asking us about the suit because we're only going to say "no comment". We just wanted to share the news directly before the rumor mill starts churning."