CIG acquires a perpetual license for Crytek’s CryEngine to further develop Star Citizen

    
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In what’s probably a surprising bit of news considering the two year-long legal fight between CIG and Crytek, it appears that the Star Citizen developer has managed to get a perpetual license for the CryEngine from Crytek. The license acquisition was included in CIG’s annual report and financial statements for 2019, which announced the license agreement as part of the studio’s investment in technology:

“During 2020, [CIG] further strengthened its position as a AAA game developer by acquiring a perpetual license for CryEngine from game development platform provider Crytek GmBH, ensuring the business continues to be agile in developing its revolutionary technology.”

Readers will recall that both CIG and Crytek were in a heated legal shoving match that first kicked off in 2017 with Crytek filing a copyright infringement suit. A battle of filings ensued that stretched through into 2019, ultimately ending with an order for both sides to hash it out in an alternative dispute resolution process. Andy McAdams summarized the entire scuffle in his Lawful Neutral column in May 2019.

source: Group of companies’ accounts report via UK Companies House website, thanks to Eggbert for the tip!
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FormlessOne

The soap opera surrounding the development of this game is, so far, better than the game itself.

I’m gonna miss the soap opera when Star Citizen is relea…. heh, I can’t even say it with a straight face.

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John Mynard

So general release in 2050?

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Zero_1_Zerum

As I’m sure has been pointed out, you mean now they can perpetually develop SC.

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Rolan Storm

Ba-dum-tsss…

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Sean Barfoot

I’m confused, I was reliably informed Crytek were Cryrekt by CIG?

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Sean Barfoot

In all seriousness this was clearly a pretty complicated legal matter with some legitimate points on both sides, and some bad ones too. It’s just funny after all the rhetoric about CIG destroying Crytek forever that some Citizens were indulging in.

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Joe Blobers

We mainly saw comments about Crytek destroying CIG forever because they hired the best attorney around (who left after a year or so…. never saw an attorney leaving a case they can win and make a lot of cash).

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Armsman

It was probably part of the Settlement between Crytek and CIG (Crytek needed it’s legal deposit to the court back once it was clear if the case went forward they’d loose big time).

It only became public knowledge because CIG mentioned it as part of their financials.

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Greaterdivinity

So…is this the resolution to the lawsuit? Pay Crytek a bunch of money so they won’t sue again and license and engine they’re supposedly no longer using after transitioning to Lumberyard? (yes, I know it’s a Cryengine fork but it’s not Cryengine as far as I can tell and is governed by different licensing agreements).

Keeping track of the business side of things with the game seems to be as difficult as trying to figure out what the hell is going on with SQ42 at any given time.

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Sean Barfoot

Try keeping up with the shell companies. Talk about Byzantine.

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Joe Blobers

You know nothing about details. As mention by Armsman, probability of a settlement involving no cash is huge. You give me full license and I don’t claim for my attorney expenses.

At the end it cut all possibilities to sue RSI again about anything related to the engine codes being part of Cry engine even if a code have been forgotten somewhere mentioning Cry engine.
A good deal as the Cry engine cost would have been much higher if Crytek though a second the project was going to gather hundreds M$ and counting right during Alpha phase.

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Sean Barfoot

I’m talking about company structure here and the many shell companies CIG have registered. Not this deal.

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AuraMaster7

Why would CIG pay Crytek a bunch of money? Crytek was soundly losing the legal battle, and swapped to settle out of court to try and pay less money to CIG. The perpetual license was likely a trade for not having to pay CIG’s legal fees, and it prevents Crytek from suing them over the engine at any point in the future.

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Peregrine Falcon

Great! So now Star Citizen can remain in perpetual development.

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7thRankedNoob

Oh the irony. CiG = perpetual

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Joe Blobers

For an MMO it is a pretty good news :)

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Ironwu

Wait a minute. What happened to Star Citizen switching over to Amazon Lumberyard?

Did I miss a switch back to CryEngine?

If they are still with Lumberyard, why need a CryEngine license at all?

Unless it is a disguised maneuver to bypass the lawsuit related to them still using CryEngine assets?

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Natalyia

Lumberyard *is* CryEngine. Amazon bought the then-current branch of the code from CryTek, which is why CIG moved to Lumberyard – the abilities Amazon was adding to take advantage of their cloud were useful, and the version they bought was essentially the version CIG was using at the time.

You can find all the gory details of the lawsuit elsewhere. I suspect the perpetual license is to proof them from CryTek attempting to come around again and refile the lawsuit – one of the odder maneuvers was CryTek attempting to dismiss their own suit claiming damages related to Squadron 42 because Squadron 42 hadn’t been released so they could refile and begin the circus again later.

At any rate they settled a while back, and while the terms were not made public, it’s not unlikely that one of those terms was “you will grant us a perpetual license to CryEngine.” to ensure that was the end of it.

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Marian Smith

It’s about cash lumberyard isn’t really free and this extricates CIG from having to use AWS for their game so it’s very good