Make My MMO: The Star Citizen lawsuit and Camelot’s weed (December 16, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, eyebrows across the ‘verse rose as Crytek filed a lawsuit alleging that the studios behind Star Citizen and Squadron 42 were in violation of Crytek’s copyrights in regard to CryEngine. In a statement to Massively OP, however, CIG denied that it was still using CryEngine and said it planned to fight back. “This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”

Over on the Camelot Unchained blog, CSE is busy working on plot and item permissions tech, scenarios, combat, skill buttons (no word on that I-win button, sorry), NPC AI, large group UI, deflect animations, the place of power, armor, and weeds. No, actual weeds. And dead trees. What did you think I meant?

Meanwhile, OrbusVR hit early access, Albion Online tweaked Kay and updated its rewards, Elite’s Thargoids finally started fighting back, and Crowfall raised a bunch of new money from investors. And the much-anticipated Ashes of Creation and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen launched their respective pre-alphas for elite and specially selected early backers.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

Ashes of Creation

Recent MMO crowdfunding news

Who does Star Citizen love now? HOVERBIKES! - Is Star Citizen alpha 3.0 going to make it past the PTU testers to the live server by Christmas? It's looking pretty tight. According to the game's weekly Around the…
Albion Online releases a new update, ‘Kay? - Albion Online's dev team hasn't run out of girlfriends' and boyfriends' Arthurian lore names to use for its patches, so everyone say hello to today's Kay update. The big focus…

Elite Dangerous

Campaigns and crowdfunded MMOs we’re watching

3001SQ (Société des Mondes Virtuels) – Kickstarter unsuccessful. Work continues.
AdventureQuest 3D (Artix Entertainment) – Raised 368k; beta began Oct 2016.
Albion Online (Sandbox) – Launched July 2017.
Antraxx (Team Antraxx) – Kickstarter canceled.
Ascent: The Space Game (Fluffy Kitten Studios) – Successful KS. Fully launched 2016.
Ashes of Creation (Intrepid Studios) – Successful KS. Alpha zero.
Broke Protocol (Cylinder) – Unsuccessful KS. In free early access.
Camelot Unchained
(City State) – Kickstarter successful; open donations/packages.
Caribbean Conquest (Invenio) – First KS canceled, second ended unsuccessfully.
Contested Space (Zon)
Crowfall (ArtCraft) – Kickstarter win, open packages, Indiegogo crowdfunding ongoing.
Chronicles of Elyria (Soulbound) – Kickstarter successful, open packages.
Citadel of Sorcery (MMO Magic, Inc.) – Open donations.
City of Titans (Missing Worlds Media) – Successful KS; launch planned for fall 2018.
Descent Underground (Descendent Studios) – Successful KS.
Divergence Online (Stained Glass Llama) – Three campaigns; now in KS early access.
Dogma: Eternal Night
(Prelude Games Factory): Kickstarter overdonor preorder packs.
Dragon of Legends (Thrive Games) – Successful Kickstarter.
Dual Universe (Novaquark) – Kickstarter funded, now has donor platform. Pre-alpha.
Eco (Strange Loop Games) – Funded, now in alpha.
Edengrad (Huckleberry Games) – Kickstarter funded; in early access.
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments) – Funded and launched.
Empyrion Online (Eleon) – Kickstarter canceled; launched on Steam early access.
Epic Space (EpicSpace.net)
Ever, Jane (3 Turn Productions) – Now in open beta.
Global Adventures (SubaGames) – Kickstarter funded.
Gloria Victis (Black Eye Games) – Open donations, no end date; in early access.
Greed Monger (Greed Monger) – Abandoned, multiple times now.
Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Guardians of Ember (Runewaker) – Funded and launched.
Guns of Icarus (Muse) – Funded and launched.
Hero’s Song (Pixelmage) – KS canceled; Indiegogo. Canceled w/ refunds.
Infinity: Battlescape (I-Novae Studios)
HEX (HEX Entertainment) – Funded and launched.
Legends of Aria (Citadel Studios) – Kickstarted as Shards Online. Alpha ended.
Life is Feudal (Bitbox): Indiegogo ended. Currently in beta.
LUX (Chimera) – Kickstarter canceled.
Maestros of the Anthymn (String Theory) – Kickstarter canceled.
Mekria (Infinity Online Studios) – Kickstarter canceled.
Midair (Archetype Studios) – Kickstarter successful.
Nebula Online (Mizar Games) Kickstarter canceled; launched in November.
Neo’s Land (NeoJac Entertainment) – Open donations, no end date.
Novus AEterno (Taitale Studios)
OrbusVR (Ad Alternum) – KS funded March 2017. In early access.
Overpower (Hydrant Games) – Kickstarter unfunded; heading to early access.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen (Visionary Realms) – Open donations. Prealpha.
Pathfinder Online (GoblinWorks) – Doom, mostly.
Planet Nomads (Craneballs) – Kickstarted, early access launched sans multiplayer.
Pixel Starships (SavySoda)
Project Gorgon (Elder Game) – Kickstarted in three tries + Indiegogo. In alpha.
Pumpkin Online (Monique) – Downgrading from MMORPG.
The Exiled (Fairytale Distillery) – fka Das Tal; 2015 KS unsuccesful. In Steam early access.
The Realm: Reawakened (Stephen Nichols) – Ongoing GoFundMe.
The Repopulation (Idea Fabrik) – Kickstarted twice by A&B. Back in alpha
ROKH (Darewise) – Kickstarter canceled; now in early access.
RUiN (Tarhead Studio) – Kickstarter successful.
The Stomping Land (Alex Fundora) – Abandoned.
Sacrament (Ferocity Unbound) – Kickstarter failed; Patreon ongoing.
Shadow’s Kiss (Clockwork Throne) – Ongoing Patreon, Kickstarter funded.
Shroud of the Avatar (Portalarium) – Successful KS. Soft launch July 2016.
Star Citizen (Cloud Imperium) – Ongoing donations/packages.
TUG (Nerd Kingdom) – In middle of year-long revamp after funding surge.
Vigor Roads (NeuronHaze) – Kickstarter unsuccessful; early access planned for 2017.
War of Rights (Campfire Games) – Successful Kickstarter; in alpha.

Camelot Unchained

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32 Comments on "Make My MMO: The Star Citizen lawsuit and Camelot’s weed (December 16, 2017)"

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Melissa McDonald

That’s going to be one entertaining court case and swear-in.

“Are you on the square? Are you on the level? Are you ready to swear right here, right now, before the devil?”

ghost.jpg
Reader
silverlock

Can Crytek even afford to pursue this in court? CIG could just lawyer up and bleed them dry.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Most law firms that handle torts and personal injury take it on contingency. They get 33% if they win, and nothing if they lose. Naturally they only take on cases they expect to win, or settle successfully.

Reader
Roger Melly

It is entirely possible that the law firm are doing it with an agreement that they will receive a percentage of any damages awarded .

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Anyone knows who will defend CIG in court?

Reader
Sally Bowls

I don’t think many expect this will ever get to court; this is just the next step in the settlement negotiations.

The interesting bit is the co-founder of CIG is a lawyer but he is also mentioned in the suit. IDK if that makes it wiser for him not to be the attorney of record for this.

Reader
Bryan Correll

Chicken Lawyer. Crytek will be represented by Lionel Hutz.

Reader
Roger Melly

From what I have read elsewhere Crytek have employed the same lawyer that won the Oculus Rift case for 500 million .

Reader
Roger Melly

I get the feeling CIG are unlikely to reach an out of court settlement . If that happens and Crytek wins then the damages awarded will probably be in the tens of millions , which would certainly affect the development of Star Citizen or cease it all together .

So glad I never invested in this game . I always felt there was something pie in the sky about it .

Reader
Joe Blobers

It is more likely Crytek won’t get a cent from CIG…. Those ten’s of millions are all coming from the same few individual profile that do prove since quite some time they are either nay-sayers or vaporware flag bearer.
Proven true for each of the something-Gate “drama” that all were the next quarter end of the project… :)

Reader
shear

Let me put it this way for you, the complaint states that there WAS a breach of contract, and even if it’s not to an extent that they claim they aren’t going to LIE on the complaint. So this much is absolutely clear-cut. Now damages for breaches of contract aren’t going to amount to a lot of money but it’s going to be some.

It’s the IP part of the lawsuit that’s going to hurt CiG.

I will copy your comment so I can rub your nose in it at the later date.

Reader
Joe Blobers

They PRETEND there is a breach of contract. Wait to see the evidence. Sure one party has made claims, but without evidence, claims are just noise. Keep in mind that people’s opinion on the internet is not evidence. Until some fact has been admitted into court as evidence (and accepted by the court after the other side has a chance to object), it is meaningless to the outcome of the case.

You can copy as much as you want, I won’t have problem to recognize facts versus internet speculation… including mine which is just for the sake of contradiction as what we see since few days is a bunch of self-appointed expert delivering their prediction :)

Reader
shear

You can’t “pretend” there is a breach because if you do that it will get thrown out of court and the law firm they hired wouldn’t take the case if there was no merit to it.

They already proved it! Crytek’s claim is that they had a contract in which CiG promised to use Cry Engine EXCLUSIVELY, and in CiG’s response they admitted to moving onto LUMBER YEARD which is a different engine, hence breach.

Translate “exclusive” for yourself. :D

Reader
Joe Blobers

Stop acting like one of those self proclaimed expert. Did you have details on contracts? No but you behave like you are Crytek lawyer with all “proof” in hands. There is no proof but one party saying “yes” and the other saying “not what is written”.

CIG said the whole complain was meritless.

There biggest mistake so far is to not have called Shear or Joe to have a chance to understand what the hell those contract lines mean from the beginning or how the switch to Lumberyard could impact this contract :)

Do not hesitate to share your expertise with Ortwin :)

Reader
shear

OK but here is what you aren’t considering, no law firm would bring a suit against another company on breach of contract if there was NO breach of contract, there is no other interpretation on a word EXCLUSIVE.

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Joe Blobers

I agree unless the lawyer is completely dumb and do not want to stand himself the slightest chance to win even 1 $. We always come back to the principal: one say “we stand there is a breach of contract because x reasons”. The other party, say, “your complain is meritless”.

We all know what exclusive mean…. except CIG positions seems to be that this word is out of context based on evolution of this project.

I think Ortwin knows what exclusive mean… as well. If he say the complain is meritless, it is because he believe there is no breach of contract.

In short we (collectively) are not in a position to deliver a judgment precisely because two renowed lawyers have opposite position. At this point, it is just picking a side based on anything but rules of law.

Reader
Roger Melly

Bookmarked for future reference .

My guess is it will be between 30 and 50 million if no out of court settlement is reached .

Reader
Joe Blobers

… sure. Round it up to 100, this is a better guess as I got this number twice while using a random generator number :)

Reader
primal

Problem is back in 2012 i found some info where crytek royalty rates was 30%. Depends what deal they cut in 2014 regarding those rates so it may be that much

Reader
Sally Bowls

IMO, it depends on PR.
It could be that the people who donate to SC will be undeterred by a lawsuit.
But, if the lawsuit impacts donations, then if the lost revenue is greater than what it costs to make Crytek go away, it makes sense for CIG to settle, even if they think they would eventually prevail in court.

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primal

yeah they are knackered, i see that after reading the lawsuit. Funny thing is theyve publicly admitted to not using cryengine for some time so theyve admitted to breaking contract. Idiots.

I think if they agree to uphold the royalty part of the contract they can get out of it. Crytek just wants the money end of the day like all companies want and add in squadron to the royalty list to but of course it would have to made payable within a time frame of commercial release otherwise game is finished.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

ye i thought that was silly too. i really think they just have shitty lawyers or something after that.

Reader
primal

it would be like someone admitting to TV crew yes i robbed that bank with video evidence of the act then pleading not guilty. They better have a good reason why they dumped cryengine and hire some lawyers that know what there doing, lets face it in america if you hire the right lawyers you can get out of almost anything.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

The right lawyers sometimes cost as much as the payout. Back money going to high end lawyers. Great deal huh?

Reader
primal

some backer money going to high end lawyers versus losing and having to shut the game down completely because they took all the money thats left. its a lesser of 2 evils

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

Truth.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

If Crytek promised to support their engine with regular updates and they didnt, this game CIG all the rights to switch engine because Crytek didnt fulfill their responsibilities.

Reader
shear

Crytek released an update to their engine not that long ago, which is an undeniable proof that they are still supporting it and even if there was an escape clause like that in the contract, it couldn’t have been triggered.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

the engine “switch” happened years after crytek’s issues tho. adn evne during those issues the people working for them were still doing work despite the payroll issues.

this fandom thoery has about as much legs as an earth worm.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

I don’t think Crytek wants future royalties though. I wouldn’t accept anything future from Star Citizen. Money upfront or nothing.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Of course you’d take a residual from future “possibilities”. It could be worth nothing – or millions. Doesn’t hurt to stake a claim on it.

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

I saw there was a follow up comment from Crytek regarding the suit

Crytek responded to Polygon with the following statement:

“Crytek is a technology company and intellectual property is its greatest asset,” they said. “It is unfortunate that this lawsuit had to be brought, but Crytek has been left with no option but to protect its intellectual property in court.”

The evacuation missions in Elite are great fun and things have got quite dangerous with the introduction of the last 2 ranks of Thargoids, (Basilisk and more recently the Medusa). I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here, will they remain solely a threat to isolated systems or will their presence lead to a full scale invasion?

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