Crytek Delays Launch of Lawsuit Against Star Citizen Devs Before Suddenly Settling

Crytek GMBH v. Cloud Imperium Games Corp. and Roberts Space Industries Corp.,
United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division
Case No. 2:17-cv-08937-DMG-FFM

Crytek, a video game developer and creator of the CryEngine, has decided to temporarily dismiss its lawsuit against  Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the developers of the video game “Star Citizen.”

Crytek originally sued the developers of Star Citizen back in 2017 for a breach of contract claim as well as copyright infringement.  Specifically, according to Crytek’s complaint, the developers of Star Citizen breached an agreement which permitted the developers to use CryEngine to develop Star Citizen but barred those developers from using CryEngine for any standalone products (such as a separate title, “Squadron 42”).  According to Crytek’s complaints, Squadron 42 may have been developed using CryEngine.  Cloud Imperium Games maintained that such an allegation was “meritless.”

During the pendency of its case, Crytek took steps to delay the lawsuit until the release of Squadron 42.  This, it seems, was an attempt to ensure that Crytek could claim damages for the sale of Squadron 42.  But, unexpectedly, in mid-February, both Crytek and developers Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries agreed to settle the case. The details of the settlement have not been made public. Given the rapid settlement after Crytek’s maneuvers around filing and dismissal, it is possible that Crytek discovered facts that made its case less strong than they had initially thought.

This marks the end of this legal dispute that had continued for years and exemplifies some of the complexity that can arise in video game engine licensing schemes.

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