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Crytek sues Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium, alleging copyright infringement

Oct 27, 2017
1,424
Milano - Italy
also they want a trial by jury? Haha get the hell out of here with that Crytek, smh.
Yeah, that's the most telling aspect in a copyright case. When you know your case has merit, especially in such a technical field, you have a competent judge do the ruling, not a jury of randoms. They probably know that a judge would throw the lawsuit back in their face.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,110
UK/FR
This is close to a driveby post, but I still feel it needs to be said:

How about we actually get the games in question before the lawsuits happen?
Unless the judge decides to block the development until the lawsuit is over, it won't affect the developers working on it.
SC 3.0 is in closed beta, and S42 has an event next week.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,761
Pathetic on Crytek, guess they are hoping for some cash to pay their employees? Just another desperate maneuver like their bitcoin ripoff.

CIG will probably stall this out until Crytek can't pay the lawyer fees anymore, also they want a trial by jury? Haha get the hell out of here with that Crytek, smh.
What company doesn't make a copyright claim if they think they've got a case?
 
Oct 25, 2017
591
What company doesn't make a copyright claim if they think they've got a case?
You don't do it by trial by jury if you think you've got a case:

Yeah, that's the most telling aspect in a copyright case. When you know your case has merit, especially in such a technical field, you have a competent judge do the ruling, not a jury of randoms. They probably know that a judge would throw the lawsuit back in their face.
This just screams as a ploy to try to appeal to people's emotions. "Boohoo look at us suffering so much because of what these big guys did!"

I do not believe in a jury composed of average people, most of them will fully comprehend how copyright law works.
 
Oct 25, 2017
579
Member was warned for drive by posting
I mean, crytek definitely seems to have a case here, but I guess I'm not surprised that the people that can't see Star Citizen for the whale-baiting scam it is also can't see that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,004
I did see that, I just thought that calling something a module isn’t necessarily relevant when you refer to it as a game in the same paragraph.
Which means you are purposely being selective by ignoring when they refer to them as "segments" and "modules that make up a whole". They basically say they are parts of a whole and omitting that or pretending that it isn't there doesn't make your talking points more valid.
 
Oct 25, 2017
347
Which means you are purposely being selective by ignoring when they refer to them as "segments" and "modules that make up a whole". They basically say they are parts of a whole and omitting that or pretending that it isn't there doesn't make your talking points more valid.
I admitted they've been ambiguous. Elsewhere in the announcement they refer to it as a single-player campaign, but then they have a heading entitled "What will the separate games cost?" They've definitely put themselves in a position where Crytek can argue that they're treating the two as different games, connected though they may be.
 
Oct 25, 2017
181
The Squadron 42 part seems like horseshit to me. It's not like it was some secret that sprung on Crytek just recently. The nature of S42 was made clear from the first day of the Kickstarter, but now all of a sudden it's a problem? Why didn't they object to it in the first place?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,201
The Squadron 42 part seems like horseshit to me. It's not like it was some secret that sprung on Crytek just recently. The nature of S42 was made clear from the first day of the Kickstarter, but now all of a sudden it's a problem? Why didn't they object to it in the first place?
S42 wasn't considered a completely separate product with it's own sku until recent though. Before S42 was the single player part of Star Citizen while while the persistent universe proper was the multiplayer aspect. All together it was Star Citizen. CIG is now treating them as two completely separate products and not just different sides of one. Packages used to be sold for $45 that included everything until what 2015 when that stopped. If you go back and look at the kickstarter S42 was just a mode. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cig/star-citizen/description
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,600
Dark Space
The "opinion of the company" means quite a bit. Negative opinions aren't being very nice on EA for sure at the moment.

Zenimax didn't really need to rely much on VR fans back then. On the other hand, Star Citizen has a big following among PC gamers, and Crytek does rely a lot on their support. Trying a cash grab on what is pretty literally their money might not be a very good idea PR-wise.
Would you classify it as a cash grab, if CIG is guilty?
 
Oct 27, 2017
615
I find some points of this lawsuit to be Crytek's pipe dream, like this one:
"Defendants further breached the GLA by breaking its promise toexclusively use CryEngine in the Star Citizen video game."

There is no way in hell than any game studio would buy full AAA license of an engine and agree that their intellectual properly must be exclusive to the game engine.
Its pretty much like Crytek would be a publisher of the game, which is no way any would agree for, especially company that wanted to avoid publishers and even any investors.
This is a straight lie, as there cant be anything in a contract that suggests that.

----
I mean, crytek definitely seems to have a case here, but I guess I'm not surprised that the people that can't see Star Citizen for the whale-baiting scam it is also can't see that.
Yeah, your argument is completely valid...
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,784
The specifically referred to them as modules.
Doesn’t matter what they refer to them as, what matters is you go to their store and purchase either one game or the other. You aren’t buying a game and then paying for the other bit as DLC, you are choosing from one of two separate products in their online store.

Having said that, they themselves refer to them as separate games. Very clearly.

What will the separate games cost?
The base price for either an Aurora starter package (with the persistent universe) or the Squadron 42 single player campaign will be $45. If you would like to add one or the other (Squadron 42 to a Persistent Universe package, or the Persistent Universe to a Squadron 42 package) it will be a $15 addon. (These prices are not final, and are subject to change with future promotions.)
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,424
Milano - Italy
Would you classify it as a cash grab, if CIG is guilty?
Yes. Because what CIG is doing in no way actually damages Crytek. Whether they have some sort of ground is to be seen, but they're very obviously just trying to play on the legalities to extort money from a former customer.

And since that's crowdfunded money, they're not gonna look good whether they win or lose. Nor they should.
 
Oct 25, 2017
579
Yes. Because what CIG is doing in no way actually damages Crytek. Whether they have some sort of ground is to be seen, but they're very obviously just trying to play on the legalities to extort money from a former customer.

And since that's crowdfunded money, they're not gonna look good whether they win or lose. Nor they should.
Hahaha what? So it's okay for CIG to do whatever they want, breech any contracts, with no repurcusions?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,424
Milano - Italy
Hahaha what? So it's okay for CIG to do whatever they want, breech any contracts, with no repurcusions?
Minor contract infractions are done all the time in the business world. That even assuming that any contract infraction happened, which is definitely not a safe assumption to make. Starting to sue your former customers definitely doesn't do good for getting people to use your engine. So you can bet that this is nothing else than a last-ditch cash grab from a company that feels the water starting to climb up their neck and is trying to find one last cash cow to milk and stay above water level another year.

If Crytek was confident in having a solid case against CIG, they wouldn't demand a jury trial hoping to win that lottery, versus having an actually competent judge doing the judging.

Not that you're actually interested in any constructive discussion, looking at your previous post.
 
Oct 25, 2017
579
I'm glad you're an expert on the "business world", as opposed to the significant lawfirm that crytek us hiring, who apparently don' realize that contracts are meant to be broken.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,424
Milano - Italy
I'm glad you're an expert on the "business world", as opposed to the significant lawfirm that crytek us hiring, who apparently don' realize that contracts are meant to be broken.
The significant law firm that Crytek is hiring (with money they don't have), obviously advised them to demand a jury trial, which in a copyright lawsuit is an obvious telltale that they know that the case is not even close to solid.

Incidentally, nice strawman.
 
Oct 25, 2017
347
Minor contract infractions are done all the time in the business world. That even assuming that any contract infraction happened, which is definitely not a safe assumption to make. Starting to sue your former customers definitely doesn't do good for getting people to use your engine. So you can bet that this is nothing else than a last-ditch cash grab from a company that feels the water starting to climb up their neck and is trying to find one last cash cow to milk and stay above water level another year.

If Crytek was confident in having a solid case against CIG, they wouldn't demand a jury trial hoping to win that lottery, versus having an actually competent judge doing the judging.

Not that you're actually interested in any constructive discussion, looking at your previous post.
The demand for a jury may just be leaving their options open, they can always waive it later if they want. I don't think that's necessarily indicative of them trying for easy money
 

Raticus79

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
382
The complaint seems pretty straightforward. It'll be interesting to hear RSI/CIG's side of things. There's no way this came as a surprise, so there must have been circumstances that made them willing to take on this risk. As mentioned earlier, maybe Crytek had some obligations they weren't able to meet due to those financial difficulties.
 
Oct 25, 2017
347
When you know you have a solid case in a copyright lawsuit, you want an actually competent judge to rule on it.
These lawyers went with a jury trial in the Zenimax case as well, which involved copyright and breach of contract (among other issues) and were extraordinarily successful. This may just be their standard operating procedure.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,424
Milano - Italy
These lawyers went with a jury trial in the Zenimax case as well, which involved copyright and breach of contract (among other issues) and were extraordinarily successful. This may just be their standard operating procedure.
The Zenimax case was far from solid. So yes, it's a standard operating procedure for cases in which you know a competent judge is probably gonna throw it back in your face.
 
Nov 2, 2017
82
I find some points of this lawsuit to be Crytek's pipe dream, like this one:
"Defendants further breached the GLA by breaking its promise toexclusively use CryEngine in the Star Citizen video game."

There is no way in hell than any game studio would buy full AAA license of an engine and agree that their intellectual properly must be exclusive to the game engine.
Its pretty much like Crytek would be a publisher of the game, which is no way any would agree for, especially company that wanted to avoid publishers and even any investors.
This is a straight lie, as there cant be anything in a contract that suggests that.
Dude, this happens all the time. It's no different from Sony or MS providing various types of assistance (sometimes even publishing the game) in return for that game being tied exclusively to their respective systems.

CIG probably had no reason to expect (at the time they partnered with Crytek) that CryEngine would not be suitable for the end product. It was only after all the stretch goals and funding blow-up happened, that CIG started to realise that CryEngine was not suited to what they were trying to do. Rather than persevere with it, they decided to cut and run.

I would be surprised if people at CIG had not discussed the ramifications of the switch to LY, at least in terms of the exclusivity agreement with Crytek. They obviously decided that the risk of Crytek suing was one they had to take in order to get to where they wanted to be at with the game. Assuming Crytek has a case, all that remains is how much Crytek can make out of it. THAT is the reason why Crytek wanted a jury trial, not because it doesn't have a case, but because juries have a tendency to award enormous punitive damages (look at Hulk Hogan's case against Gawker).

If CIG is smart, it will settle with Crytek, but my guess is that the parties are still too far apart on the amount that would make this suit go away. Crytek has upped the ante by raising the threat of discovery laying bare much of what CIG would like hidden from public scrutiny (i.e. its finances).

What I think will happen is that CIG will supply Crytek confidentially with its financial information and the two sides will settle on terms that will not be disclosed. That way backers will not panic and CIG can halt the PR nightmare that is unfolding before its eyes.
 

Geist

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,563
I wish we could look at wording in that agreement ourselves, I'm curious what Crytek's obligations were and if this incident affected Crytek's ability to uphold their end.
 
Oct 29, 2017
107
CIG probably had no reason to expect (at the time they partnered with Crytek) that CryEngine would not be suitable for the end product. It was only after all the stretch goals and funding blow-up happened, that CIG started to realise that CryEngine was not suited to what they were trying to do. Rather than persevere with it, they decided to cut and run.
Not suitable is a bit ridiculous since Lumberyard was cut from the exact same cloth of source code that CIG was given when THEY licensed it. Any issues they would have found with CryEngine, they'd find in Lumberyard as well.

I think this lawsuit is going to very interesting to watch. The only side we've really heard from is Crytek's and they sound damning (as they would be). Like French's analysis, it seems the breach of contract is a slam dunk but the copyright infringement part might be a bit dicier.
 
Oct 27, 2017
615
Dude, this happens all the time. It's no different from Sony or MS providing various types of assistance (sometimes even publishing the game) in return for that game being tied exclusively to their respective systems.
Its very different. The engine provider is not a publisher, especially not a 1st party publisher. Sony and Microsoft pay for development of the game, here CIG buyout the engine's full license and yet still have exclusivity restriction to their IP? That doesnt sound reasonable to say the least.
Game was designed to be developed for 10+ years. Closing itself in some technology 'just because' is ridiculous especially on the project completely oriented about cutting out middle man in their development.

----
Having said that, they themselves refer to them as separate games. Very clearly.

What will the separate games cost?
The base price for either an Aurora starter package (with the persistent universe) or the Squadron 42 single player campaign will be $45. If you would like to add one or the other (Squadron 42 to a Persistent Universe package, or the Persistent Universe to a Squadron 42 package) it will be a $15 addon. (These prices are not final, and are subject to change with future promotions.)
Its not 'very clearly' as they use wording like 'package' and 'addon'. Its about interpretations of those words.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
4,708
Do Crytek have an engine licensing business any more? I can't think of any externally developed games announced that use Cryengine.

Acting like this seems like a good way to scare developers off from ever working with Crytek, even if the lawsuit has some legal basis.
 
Oct 28, 2017
61
I find some points of this lawsuit to be Crytek's pipe dream, like this one:
"Defendants further breached the GLA by breaking its promise toexclusively use CryEngine in the Star Citizen video game."

There is no way in hell than any game studio would buy full AAA license of an engine and agree that their intellectual properly must be exclusive to the game engine.
Its pretty much like Crytek would be a publisher of the game, which is no way any would agree for, especially company that wanted to avoid publishers and even any investors.
This is a straight lie, as there cant be anything in a contract that suggests that.
Well the complaint is written by some top-tier lawyers and they definitely have checked the contract carefully, so it's unlikely this could be a lie. By the way it's also stated in the complaint that CIG get the license at a discounted rate.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,201
I wasn't sure if they'd ceased that activity after selling Amazon their engine.
From what I understand they sold/licensed one of the later versions of Cryengine 3 to Amazon for them to do what they wished with it. They didn't sell their business to them. Crytek continued on as usual with the engine.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,909
It straight up says "SEPARATE GAMES" right there. There is zero ambiguity about this.
For a long time the games were one game though so I wonder if some of the case will come down to when things changed. If CIG bought out their branch and then moved to Lumberyard and THEN separated it into two games, I think it may be seen as not being relevant to the case. Because any discounts applied due to exclusivity may have been nullified by buying it out if they didn't get any discounts then.

I think there may be some wrinkles that make this quite a bit more complex but we'll see what CIG says. I think it's possible that Crytek is trying to kind of backdate the separation so that their case appears more solid i.e. arguing that separating them indicates that there were plans to do that earlier and that negotiating for two games as one was in bad faith or something like that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
615
It straight up says "SEPARATE GAMES" right there. There is zero ambiguity about this.
In a question and then they are described in details in completely different wording.
FAQ section is written a lot of time from consumer standpoint perspective, so questions look liked asked by users and answers are done by devs.
There is a lot they can argue there in terms of wording. Its not very clear.
 
Oct 25, 2017
579
It is absolutely 100% clear. It is not muddled, there is no confusion to be had. The makers call them separate games, they consider them separate games. No amount of looking for other words can change that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
615
It is absolutely 100% clear. It is not muddled, there is no confusion to be had. The makers call them separate games, they consider them separate games. No amount of looking for other words can change that.
Yep, its 100% clear like Star Citizen being whale-baiting scam, right?

---
If you look at the TOS on the website, one of the first sentences is this:
https://robertsspaceindustries.com/tos
" the participation in the game “Star Citizen” and related modules, including “Squadron 42” (collectively, the “Game”), and any other product,"
Same for EULA
https://robertsspaceindustries.com/eula
" for the game Star Citizen and related modules, including without limitation, ‘Squadron 42’ (the “Game”) are the work of, "

And they call Game as a Star Citizen with all its module, which includes S42.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,201
CIG is pulling tricks with their wording. At the end of the day though it likely will come down to what is on that store page and what CIG, Roberts, etc have said and how they've publicly presented things. https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/Packages/Squadron-42-Standalone-Pledge They are selling S42 as a separate product. It has it's own separate store listing and sku. The listing of the package that includes it and Star Citizen are listed a "combo". It's not at all being actively treated as being apart of the normal "Star Citizen" package the way it was in the past. How it's treated then and now are very clear and different. This wording in their TOS/EULA aren't going to hold up.
 

Al3x1s

Banned
Member
Nov 13, 2017
2,824
Greece
So people only have Crytek's side but somehow assume they're right and it's another nail in CIG's coffin before they're exposed for the fraud everyone wants them to be? How about waiting for this to be resolved in or out of court? We don't have their contracts to even begin contemplating the different ways they could be interpreted. So yeah Crytek thinks they have a case, and CIG clearly don't hear of this via gaming sites and think they have a case too, or that via court they will give less than whatever Crytek asked for out of it, since they let it get to this (or this is all just part of the process they choose to follow while eventually settling out of court), that's all we can really assume and not even certainly. As for the Crytek text on that video, we don't even know if that is leftover and part of the Lumberwhatever engine Amazon has currently or at the time CIG got it since it's still a CryEngine iteration they adopted or even if CIG could simply remove it themselves if it was just copied over from their CryEngine work to the new framework.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
2,627
Connecticut
Analysis of the lawsuit from Lawful messes/Leonard French
As someone who doesn't know much about copyright law etc I appreciate this.
Skip to 3:50 to get started.
Reading the claim runs from there to 29:20, then he starts commentary.
Also thank you very much for this, I started watching and I heard music and mic checking. Then he was just going over the written stuff, appreciate it. Haven't finished watching yet but I feel like 29:20 on is where I needed to really start.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,680
CIG is pulling tricks with their wording. At the end of the day though it likely will come down to what is on that store page and what CIG, Roberts, etc have said and how they've publicly presented things. https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/Packages/Squadron-42-Standalone-Pledge They are selling S42 as a separate product. It has it's own separate store listing and sku. The listing of the package that includes it and Star Citizen are listed a "combo". It's not at all being actively treated as being apart of the normal "Star Citizen" package the way it was in the past. How it's treated then and now are very clear and different. This wording in their TOS/EULA aren't going to hold up.
Well, it's just a game with a solo campaign and multiplayer, all under a single exe file. And they now just ask you to pay for whatever part you prefer to play. I mean, if the whole game is 60$ and you only care for the solo campaign, if you can get the game with just the solo part for 30$, i'd say it's perfectly fine. It's one game (Star Citizen) with two separates modes and one of them is called Squadron 42. And you can buy a "nerfed" version of the game without access to the part you do not care about.

I'd like that option for Call of Duty games to be honest, only play campaign on those. And, by the way, they separate solo and multiplayer exe files. Yet it's still considered one game, not two.

This very specific complain is moot i'd say.
 

Al3x1s

Banned
Member
Nov 13, 2017
2,824
Greece
This very specific complain is moot i'd say.
And if it's not moot they could just unlock the whole game for previous purchasers of squadron and stop selling them separately making it moot for less cost than whatever Crytek wants :P
 
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Oct 25, 2017
347
A lot depends on how the game is defined in the contract. CIG has made things more murky by calling the whole game as Star Citizen and also calling the multiplayer part Star Citizen.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,059
The "opinion of the company" means quite a bit. Negative opinions aren't being very nice on EA for sure at the moment.

Zenimax didn't really need to rely much on VR fans back then. On the other hand, Star Citizen has a big following among PC gamers, and Crytek does rely a lot on their support. Trying a cash grab on what is pretty literally their money might not be a very good idea PR-wise.
Obviously it can't be proved either way, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were more people who think CIG is a giant joke and want to see them get shut down than there are ardent supporters.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,201
Well, it's just a game with a solo campaign and multiplayer, all under a single exe file. And they now just ask you to pay for whatever part you prefer to play. I mean, if the whole game is 60$ and you only care for the solo campaign, if you can get the game with just the solo part for 30$, i'd say it's perfectly fine. It's one game (Star Citizen) with two separates modes and one of them is called Squadron 42. And you can buy a "nerfed" version of the game without access to the part you do not care about.

I'd like that option for Call of Duty games to be honest, only play campaign on those. And, by the way, they separate solo and multiplayer exe files. Yet it's still considered one game, not two.

This very specific complain is moot i'd say.
The issue is did they even have a legal right based on their contracts to even do this. As long as S42 was just a mode of Star Citizen the same way Zombies or multiplayer is just a mode of any normal Call of Duty they likely were fine. That is how it was originally setup and designed. They were just selling and releasing one product. If their contract was based on a single license to release one product and now they're releasing two individual products that's where the issue lies. The origins of the second product don't really matter here. They were selling one product with the license to make one and now they're selling two products off of the single license. The correct thing to do was to go back to Crytek and attempt to edit the original deal or to secure a second individual license. Or if they wanted to switch engines then they would have have to get out of the contract and that likely meant paying Crytek the balance on what the would have been charged at the time the original deal was made. Maybe some other fees that might exist when you try to break contracts I don't know.

CIG appears to have tried to just break away from the actual deal and go with Amazon where they don't appear to have any limit on how many products they can ship. Maybe hoping Crytek wouldn't do anything. That's not how you do business. The announcement they were switching to Lumbyard was always iffy to begin with and remember wanting to know why. It's not like it's a huge change in engine for CIG. It's not like they're suddenly redoing the game in UE4 to get better options,e tc. A lot of the issues they would have would still be there. Networking is only part of the problem. That would help with the online part in theory. That doesn't stop people from falling through ships, things just not working, coding, etc. It's not like they're changing engines to produce a better and different game. So there had to be another reason they wanted to go with Amazon and try to cut out Crytek. Regardless of any financial issues they as a company were still there and actually getting better after their Amazon deal. It's not like Crytek was on its way out at the time. So what other reason for the switch? I can only think so they could release S42 without issues or maybe other products. Maybe spin Arena Commander or FPS module as their own games at some point. Their deal with Crytek likely wouldn't allow that without them having to cough up more money because it's an change to the original deal and not a brand new deal.

This is assuming of course what Crytek is saying is true based on what the deals were. I have no reason to believe they're lying here. It would get proven pretty quickly as soon as they're asked to product the contracts, etc.

This one aspect likely could be cleared up very easily by CIG. Stop selling S42 as a separate product. Remove it from the store. Unlock it on everyone's account that has a Star Citizen starter package. Or add Star Citizen to those that just bought S42 .Then just go back to selling the single package with the different flavors of ships like they used to. When this likely wasn't an issue. That's really an easy fix.
 
Oct 28, 2017
409
This one aspect likely could be cleared up very easily by CIG. Stop selling S42 as a separate product. Remove it from the store. Unlock it on everyone's account that has a Star Citizen starter package. Or add Star Citizen to those that just bought S42 .Then just go back to selling the single package with the different flavors of ships like they used to. When this likely wasn't an issue. That's really an easy fix.
That would likely be seen as an admission of guilt, if they were to do it ahead of say, the terms of a settlement or ruling of a trial. They can’t oopsey daisy and go back to what was before just because they’ve been served papers. No, the defense of their case is going to rely on them leaving things as they are and defending that S42 is a module of a larger product, and hoping that they can convince the court that has been the case, despite selling the module as a separate SKU from the multiplayer portion. It’ll get murky, but there is a defensible position there.