Crytek sues Star Citizen studios CryEngine

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Crytek claims that as development of Star Citizen has progressed, CryEngine has been used for more purposes than specified in its original contract. This lawsuit, filed in US district court in California, has the potential to disrupt development of a game that is already more than five years in development and has yet to deliver on many promises to its backers. And while some may say that Squadron 42 is just the single-player mode of Star Citizen, the game is being sold as a standalone title, thus giving the impression of a second, separate game.

In December 2016, CIG and RSI said they were moving off of CryEngine 3 in favor of Amazon's Lumberyard product. The lawsuit says Crytek knew that displaying the CryEngine's logo was a "critical component" of the agreement between the two companies. Looking carefully at CIG and RSI's own marketing materials, show lines of code on the screen that seem to indicate the games are running, at least partially, on CryEngine 3.

In a blog post following that transition, RSI's Chris Roberts explained that Lumberyard was essentially a more promising fork of an earlier CryEngine build that fit better as a base for "StarEngine", his name for the "heavily modified" version of CryEngine the developers were then using.

But the lawsuit doesn't stop there.

RSI plans to launch a multi-player interstellar trade and combat game as well as a dedicated first-person shooter called Squadron 42, that is set in the Star Citizen galaxy.

Crytek added that changes made to CryEngine while it was being used to develop Star Citizen have also not been passed on to it.

When asked to comment by Kotaku, CIG sent over a statement: "We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court".

Crytek said it would seek damages and an injunction that stopped further use of its CryEngine game engine software.

A year after Jones joined the team, CIG and RSI announced the move from CryEngine to Amazon's Lumberyard.

In response to the lawsuit, CIG spokespeople have called the lawsuit "meritless" and will defend against Crytek's lawsuit and, if possible, will seek to recover any costs from the case.

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