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Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the not-very-knightly dept.

The Courts 25

In response to Epic's counter-suit (a suit countering Silicon Knights' suit over the unreal engine), Silicon Knights has flatly denounced Epic's move and is calling for the suit to be summarily dismissed ... while simultaneously decrying Epic's motion to dismiss the original suit. This is going to get ugly. Next Gen reports: "Silicon Knights' response thoroughly picks apart a myriad of points brought about by the counterclaim. The firm stated, 'For Epic to attempt to dispute the merit of those allegations [of the original suit] under the auspices of a motion to dismiss is improper. Therefore, Epic's Motion to dismiss should be denied in its entirety, Epic should be ordered to answer the Complaint, and this case should proceed to discovery and trial.' The original suit arose in July, when Silicon Knights filed the suit against North Carolina's Epic Games, developer of Gears of War and creator and licensor of the development tool Unreal Engine 3. Silicon Knight said Epic didn't deliver on its UE3 promises, resulting in the delay of the unreleased UE3-powered Xbox 360 game Too Human."

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Another Excuse (2, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | about 7 years ago | (#20638643)

I honestly think that Silicon Knights is just trying to find another reason why Too Human is almost as oft-delayed as Duke Nukem Forever. There have been plenty of games released now using the Unreal Engine 3, and they haven't had a problem with it, at least not one they felt needed to be brought public and to the courts.

I used to be a fan of Silicon Knights and Denis Dyack (founder), but I can't say I am anymore. Though they haven't released an original game since 2002, it's hard to be a fan of a non-productive company.

Re:Another Excuse (1)

sam_paris (919837) | about 7 years ago | (#20638743)

Erm actually:

All delayed games using UE3 Stranglehold, BioShock, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Turok, Frame City Killer, Fatal Inertia and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway. All delayed.

Re:Another Excuse (1)

hansamurai (907719) | about 7 years ago | (#20638883)

And there are hundreds of games delayed that run proprietary engines, or another licensed one. I'm not saying there is or isn't a direct correlation between using UE3 and delayed games, I'm saying that SK simply has problems getting games out and I feel they're trying to place Epic as a scapegoat for their problems. Too Human was originally shown in 1999, development probably started in 1997 or 1998 (I don't know those specifics). The game was shelved while they assumably worked on Eternal Darkness and the MGS port. They haven't released any games since 2004.

Re:Another Excuse (1)

morari (1080535) | about 7 years ago | (#20639025)

The Twin Snakes and (especially) Eternal Darkness were both very good reasons to shelve Too Human. Not that they really need a reason from what I've seen...

Re:Another Excuse (1)

provigilman (1044114) | about 7 years ago | (#20639961)

Delayed yes, but they were actually released. I think the OP was more referring to the fact that Too Human has been repeatedly delayed while new games were being announced and subsequently released.

Re:Another Excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20638819)

There have been plenty of games released now using the Unreal Engine 3, and they haven't had a problem with it, at least not one they felt needed to be brought public and to the courts.

Note: Not one that they felt needed to be brought public and to the courts. Other developers may just be waiting to see how this pans out.


ringbarer (545020) | about 7 years ago | (#20638833)

Big explosion, the ship escapes, but plummets to Earth. Master Chief nearly falls out of cargo bay.

Funeral, lots of Marines. Arbiter turns up.

Re:Another Excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20638933)

Well Silicon Knights is definitely a much smaller developing house than any of those other companies using the Unreal Engine. 2K has said that it was definitely difficult to deal with, but since they have so many programmers they were able to keep everything afloat.

Re:Another Excuse (1)

hansamurai (907719) | about 7 years ago | (#20639071)

I'll give you that. SK's site says they have ~120 employees. I don't want to make it sound like I hate SK or am an Epic fanboy, just throwing out alternative viewpoints that maybe not everyone wants to talk about generally.

I enjoyed Eternal Darkness and the Metal Gear Solid remake, so I hope they successfully release Too Human and that it's a good game, not necessarily 9 years in the making good, but hopefully good enough so that people forget the litigation and remember the game.

Re:Another Excuse (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | about 7 years ago | (#20639059)

Actually, other companies have admitted to difficulties with the engine as well. None of the others claim that Epic is trying to sabotage them, though.

In truth, any powerful engine is going to be difficult to work with, especially if it wasn't built in-house specifically for that project. There's a lot of cruft you have to learn to ignore, and there's a lot of workarounds to make the engine do things the way you think they should be done.

I'm not saying Epic has no fault in this (they at least ignored SK's pleas for help), they aren't the evil empire that SK makes them out to be, either.

Re:Another Excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20639261)

None of the others claim that Epic is trying to sabotage them, though.

Not anything as gauche as sabotage per se, no. That they may have had priorities at odds to the companies who license the engine? That's another matter.

Re:Another Excuse (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 7 years ago | (#20640345)

SK's claims of sabotage are unprovable, and really is a waste of the court's time. What is pertinent is whether or not Epic missed the promised 360-binary deadline. If they did, then this case is very clear-cut.

Re:Another Excuse (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | about 7 years ago | (#20640213)

Twin Snakes came out in 2004.

Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (3, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 7 years ago | (#20638677)

I don't understand what's so epic about it...

Re: Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (1)

CloneBot (554877) | about 7 years ago | (#20638807)

I am glad I wasn't the only one who read it like that.

Re: Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (1)

bugnuts (94678) | about 7 years ago | (#20638809)

Maybe it's purple?

Re: Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (1)

gravos (912628) | about 7 years ago | (#20638881)

Silly Silicon Knights, you can't reject a bind-on-pickup.

Re: Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 7 years ago | (#20640231)

I don't understand what's so epic about it...
"Ghost Love Score" by Nightwish is playing on a loop in the background.

Re: Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (1)

aztektum (170569) | about 7 years ago | (#20641251)

I reject all lawsuits, epic or otherwise!

Futher, I hereby declare that all lawsuits be dismissed!

I bet it won't work for Silicon Knights either.

Re: Silicon Knights Rejects Epic Counter-Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20681461)

It is epic because of PACARD.

Headline should read.. (2, Informative)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | about 7 years ago | (#20639085)

from the "no-shit" dept.

"Company getting counter-sued says it's not their fault"

Seriously.. I don't get why this is news. Lawsuits are filed when there are disagreements that cannot be settled between parties. If SK responded to Epic's countersuit with "Oh, ok, you're right, we're wrong," then that would actually be newsworthy.

Re:Headline should read.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20639777)

It's even less newsworthy than you state. The party subject to a suit is REQUIRED to bring all counterclaims relating to the issue at hand, or else they lose the opportunity to litigate those issues. So a countersuit is rarely more than a way of stating "you're wrong, and this is what we think."

Note: Yes, this is a very simplified view of the civil procedure involved. Who cares? It's still reasonably accurate.

Summary incomprehensible (1)

Raul654 (453029) | about 7 years ago | (#20639267)

Can someone please correctly summarize this - like mentioning what the suit is about, and what the counter suit about, before talking about a motion to dismiss the counter-suit.

Re:Summary incomprehensible (3, Informative)

LukeCage (1007133) | about 7 years ago | (#20642081)

Basically it goes like this:

Silicon Knights is making a game called Too Human. In order to streamline the development of Two Human, Silicon Knights decides to outsource the programming of the 3d engine. They look around and, based on both it's current and planned feature set, decide to use Epic's UT3 (Unreal Tournament 3) 3d engine. This becomes the "motor" of their game.

At some later point, Silicon Knights runs into problems implementing certain things in the engine and making it work the way they want to. Their suit alleges that Epic did not help them with their problems and did not make good on their initial promises (which were features offered under contract, according to Silicon Knights). Instead, Silicon Knights is accusing Epic of withholding information and support so that Epic's own games would look awesome and use features of their UT3 engine that Silicon Knights did not have access to (or could not use).

This supposed non-help cost Silicon Knights a lot of money because they eventually dropped UT3 and wrote their own engine, a major development expense.

Should be titled "SK Lawyers avoid malpractice" (1)

GodInHell (258915) | about 7 years ago | (#20647765)

Seriously - calling for the opponents claims to be dismissed isn't exciting - it's a damn near universal procedural step in the progress of a civil suit. If you don't file these motions in a timely manner than you lose the ability to raise them again later - say - after Epic fails to prove it's factual contentions.

I'm tired and I'll get the details wrong if I try - but a nice similee would be - "coder debugs code."
Yah - Okay.. and?

Tearing appart the opponents claims line by line is - again - sort of what lawyers do! They don't get paid to show up at court and talk - almost all their money is earned at a desk covered in duplicate copies of documents and evidence files making notes and trying to find places where the facts don't match up with the required elements of the case.

Okay - elements is the wrong term - I'm sloppy and tired and I've focused on crim law for more than 6 months. Sue me :D.


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