Last year, Crytek launched a lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games, claiming that the Star Citizen studio misused the CryEngine and breached a licensing agreement. This all came to light after Star Citizen switched from CryEngine to Amazon’s Lumberyard engine. Now almost a year later, it looks like the legal situation is close to wrapping up.
A few years ago when Crytek was facing financial struggles, the company sold Amazon the rights to use the CryEngine as a base for its own engine. Amazon launched Lumberyard and essentially made it free, undercutting Crytek’s licensing scheme for CryEngine. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Cloud Imperium Games switched from CryEngine to Lumberyard for Star Citizen. This clearly touched a nerve, with Crytek launching a lawsuit against CIG, although the Star Citizen team has always maintained that it broke no agreements with Crytek.
Now, it looks like the courts are beginning to side with CIG in the lawsuit. Earlier this year, a motion to dismiss the lawsuit entirely was filed. There has been an update on that front, with the judge assigned to the case stating that Crytek didn’t make a clear enough argument in trying to prove that a licensing agreement was broken.
One of the core arguments in this case was that Crytek’s agreement with CIG prohibited the Star Citizen team from licensing a competing game engine to a third-party licensee. However, this agreement did not state that CIG couldn’t license another engine for itself, which is what happened when CIG switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard engine.
As the situation stands right now, the court is siding with CIG and has granted the motion to dismiss. However, Crytek does have 21 days to update its plea and solidify its argument.
KitGuru Says: This lawsuit has been an odd one to follow but it sounds like we are nearing a conclusion. Crytek could still update its complaint to correct previous errors in language, but if the legal contracts don’t back their argument, then it won’t amount to anything.