Crytek sues Cloud Imperium Games over a breach of contract

Star Citizen was originally developed on CryEngine - CIG agreed to prominently display Crytek's trademark throughout the game's development

Crytek has sued Cloud Imperium Games over a breach of contract

Crytek sues Cloud Imperium Games over a breach of contract

Crytek has filed a lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games (CIG), the developers of Star Citizen, over its use of CryEngine when developing both Star Citizen and Squadron 42, the game's single-player mode.  

When the game started development, Crytek licensed their game engine to CIG at a "below-market" rate in exchange for certain concessions, like displaying CryEngine trademarks on their marketing materials and a pledge to use CryEngine exclusively when developing the game. 

Over time Crytek alleges that CIG distanced itself from Crytek over time, first by removing Crytek's trademarks from marketing materials without permission.  Later, Chris Robers, CIG's CEO, started calling their modified version of CryEngine "Star Engine", lessening the perceived impact that CryEngine had on the game's development. Eventually, CIG then moved the game from CryEngine to Amazon's Lumberyard Engine, which is itself is based on Crytek-licensed technology.  

The suit also alleges that CIG broke their contract with Crytek by creating a second game using their engine without a license, stating that Squadron 42, is a separate game from Star Citizen. Both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 can be purchased separately, though initially Squadron 42 was intended to be Star Citizen's single-player campaign.  

As part of their original deal, CIG also agreed to collaborate on CryEngine's development, sharing bug fixes and optimisations to CryEngine's source code on a yearly basis and after the final game is released. Crytek has stated in this suit that CIG has not complied with their agreement, effectively slowing down the development of CryEngine. 


Crytek has sued Cloud Imperium Games over a breach of contract


In this lawsuit, Crytek seeks to receive direct damages that they believe exceed a value of $75,000 alongside indirect damages as well as a percentage of profits from CIG-developed games. 

Cloud Imperium Games has released an official response to this lawsuit, stating that the company has not use CryEngine for a long time and that they seek to defend themselves in this upcoming legal battle vigorously. 

    We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court.CIG hasn’t used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.


When looking at Star Citizen, it is clear why CIG made a move to Amazon's Lumberyard engine so far into the game's development. Amazon's Lumberyard Engine is deeply integrated into Amazon's online services, making it ideal for a massively multiplayer online game like Star Citizen, while also offering enough similarities to CryEngine to make the development switch relatively easy when compared to other engines. 

It is easy to see why Crytek feels wronged here, as Star Citizen would act as a centrepiece for any game engine, offering a scope that is unparalleled within the games industry.  

Those who are interested can read Crytek's court filings here

You can join the discussion Crytek suing Cloud Imperium Games over Star Citizen's development on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

14-12-2017, 08:52:25

75K in damages ? Crytek must be immensely desperate if they're going nuts for 75K.Quote

14-12-2017, 08:57:43

Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
75K in damages ? Crytek must be immensely desperate if they're going nuts for 75K.
$75K at a minimum. Also imagine how much a percentage of Star Citizen would be worth.Quote

14-12-2017, 09:28:23

75k was for just one portion there are others that will be determines in courtQuote

15-12-2017, 04:44:52

With only this information crytek will lose the suit... The game is yet to be released, is not even on its final stages of development... Not saying that they dont have the reason, just saying that the timing is crap.Quote

15-12-2017, 21:17:46

I just wish they'd make another Crysis game. Crytek is one of the last remaining studios out there that hasn't been consumed by EA. This move makes them seem kinda desperate for cash and makes me afraid they're on their last legs like all my other favorite studios like Visceral and Bioware.Quote

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