MMO-watchers will recall that just before the turn of the new year, Crytek filed to sue Cloud Imperium, the company behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen. Crytek alleged 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. As recompense for this supposed breach, Crytek demanded a significant sum, including direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.
CIG, for its part, has denied the accusations, calling it a “meritless” lawsuit; it’s pointed to the licensing agreement that limits liability and damages from contract breaches, as well as asserted that it’s not using Crytek’s engine (any more) and that name changes to and expansions of Star Citizen’s “online universe” do not constitute a new game.
We’re coming to a middle in the saga now, as yesterday the judge ruled on CIG’s motion to dismiss; specifically, she granted the motion to dismiss on two grounds: the claim on CryEngine exclusivity and the pursuit of punitive damages. However, she denied CIG’s motion to dismiss on the breach of contract and copyright infringement grounds, and she allowed Crytek’s pursuit of injunctive relief and other damages.
In other words, most of the lawsuit will go on. Invest in popcorn manufactories.