The bombshell of December 2017 was the news that Crytek was suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen, alleging that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. In its initial filing, Crytek demanded a huge pile of direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.
At the time, CIG told Massively OP that it was aware of the complaint but that the lawsuit was “meritless” as CIG hadn’t used CryEngine since it switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. And now we see its promised “vigorous defense” action, as CIG has issued a volley of its own in the form of a motion to dismiss the entire suit.
Among other things, the document attempts to:
- assert that Crytek’s claims are baseless as CIG is not using Crytek’s software and that the licenscing agreement absolves CIG of wrongdoing;
- assert that name changes to and expansions of Star Citizen’s “online universe” – presumably including S42 – do not constitute a new game and therefore that the licensing agreement covers all permutations of its titles in that “destination”;
- note that the licensing contract was for €1.85M, which amounts to roughly $2.2M US (quite a bit of the licensing agreement has been published to the record here, as CIG blasts Crytek for not doing so);
- accuse Crytek of “generating misleading, scandalous press”;
- and correct the conflict-related accusations against CIG’s own in-house attorney and company co-founder (Ortwin Freyermuth) and absolve RSI of any culpability in the suit against CIG.
Want expert legal analysis? If you’ve got an hour, attorney Leonard French is probably worth a listen: