Epic Wins Advantage in Too Human Lawsuit

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Epic Wins Advantage in Too Human Lawsuit

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Judge grants Epic's motion to exclude reports and testimony by key Silicon Knights expert.

Though the final resolution of the case is still in dispute, a December 22 ruling by Chief District Judge James Dever III reveal Silicon Knights has suffered a major setback in its suit against Epic Games. The Escapist has obtained a order by the court granting Epic's motion to exclude the reports and testimony of Terry Lloyd. Lloyd, a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst, was retained by Silicon Knights "to render an opinion regarding Silicon Knights' alleged damages."

The case stems from Silicon Knights' decision in May 2005 to license the Unreal Engine 3 in developing Too Human for Microsoft. After a particularly embarrassing E3 demo, Silicon Knights rebuilt Epic's engine, which resulted in a two-year delay for the game. Silicon Knights alleges "during the parties' license-agreement negotiations, Epic made false representations concerning the license agreement and the functionality of UE3." The consequent delay, according to Silicon Knights, "caused decreased sales of Too Human, caused Microsoft to end negotiations to develop two sequels... damaged Silicon Knights reputation, and impaired Silicon Knights' ability to secure future development projects."

According to the court papers, Lloyd identified over $58 million in damages across six key categories:

    1) lost royalties due to decrease sales ($6.2 mil)
    2) lost publisher bonus ($750k)
    3) lost ancillary royalties ($810k)
    4) lost profits from sequels ($16+ mil for Too Human II, $14+ mil for Too Human III) and another Sega title, The Ritualyst ($8+ mil)
    5) cost to develop a new engine ($2.3 mil)
    6) economic harm to Silicon Knights' reputation ($8.9 mil)

The court documents summarize Lloyd's questionable methodology for determining these damages and Epic's arguments that Lloyd's testimony be rejected because he is "not qualified," his methodologies "do not fit the facts of the case," and are "unreliable and speculative." When Silicon Knights countered that Lloyd's methodology was reliable, Epic replied that they seemed to be "uninformed guesses" and, just to make sure no one missed it, "made up."

The judge agreed with Epic that Lloyd's methodology for determining the potential sales of Too Human were based on "his own subjective conclusions about an industry in which he had no prior knowledge or experience." The smoking gun seems to be that Lloyd did not use the same criteria to determine Too Human's potential sales as he did to selecting the titles he used as a yardstick. In plainer terms, Lloyd claimed marketing and genre are key factors in a game's sales, but, when choosing other titles to measure Too Human's potential sales against, did not choose titles that had a similar marketing budget or genre. There are several other mistakes of this sort noted in the documents, including the forced inclusion of blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto IV despite it not meeting any of Lloyd's selection criteria, and the inclusion of Gears of War on the basis of its "large advertising budget" despite Lloyd not knowing exactly what that budget was.

As to the economic harm to Silicon Knights' reputation in the industry, the papers reveal Silicon Knights was in talks with Vivendi, Capcom, THQ and Namco and was negotiating development plans for King's Quest and Sandmim. Lloyd's methodology for determining the potential value of these projects was similarly unconvincing to the court. Lloyd's estimation of the costs of developing a new game engine were deemed irrelevant because Microsoft and Sega reimbursed the developer for all such costs, which gives Silicon Knights no ground to seek damages under North Carolina law.

We're still not quite to the end of this years-long legal battle, but Epic scored a major advantage with this recent ruling. We'll be sure to keep an eye on further details as they come in.

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What 'damages' could Epic possibly get from Silicon Knights? I mean, the latter is basically running on fumes and a Ramen noodle budget with a skeleton crew at the helm.

forget the fact it wasn't a good game (ok it's more of an opinion but whatever) it was a two year set back that made the game not sell well

Kevlar Eater:
What 'damages' could Epic possibly get from Silicon Knights? I mean, the latter is basically running on fumes and a Ramen noodle budget with a skeleton crew at the helm.

Unless I'm misreading or just missing something in the article, is it not Silicon Knights that is actually seeking damages from Epic, not vice versa?

MortisLegio:
forget the fact it wasn't a good game (ok it's more of an opinion but whatever) it was a two year set back that made the game not sell well

Don't worry, that "opinion" is pretty much universal, and something tells me that that was the key factor in it not selling well, being a terrible game

So let me get this straight:
1. It flopped at E3
2. They rebuilt the Unreal Engine 3
3. Which resulted in a delay of the game for 2 years
4. Which "resulted" in poor sales.
and this is why they are suing Epic, because, they as a video game company sucked at life. I'm just making sure I'm getting this right.

The sequel was gonna make 12 million, no no, 14 million! WE LOST 3 BILLION DOLLARS IN REPUTATION MONIES!

MortisLegio:
forget the fact it wasn't a good game (ok it's more of an opinion but whatever) it was a two year set back that made the game not sell well

Or you could just call its poor reception and almost universal dislike a fact. Individual opinions may not be facts, but a Gamerankings overall of 68 and a Metacritic of 65 demonstrates some pretty poor reception in an industry where 8 has become the new "average."

Universal poor critical reception is certainly a fact. Even if the definition of a 65 is "mixed or average," few people want a "mixed or average" game.

Almost 60 million bucks, eh?
Well, damage to a brand can be a really massive slap in the face I guess...

But yeah, most of those 'data' do seem to be sucked from that guy's thumb, instead of being -at least somewhat- hard science.

Invadergray:
The sequel was gonna make 12 million, no no, 14 million! WE LOST 3 BILLION DOLLARS IN REPUTATION MONIES!

I feel bad for them. They lost sixty-eight quadrillion dollars.

Am I the only one that liked this game? I guess I really wanted to like this game as it was based on Norse mythology. But even though the gameplay was clunky I did think it was a pretty game and the customiztion of character and armor was good as well. I kind of hope they can eventually make a sequel and fix what was wrong with the first game.

TheCodman:
Am I the only one that liked this game? I guess I really wanted to like this game as it was based on Norse mythology. But even though the gameplay was clunky I did think it was a pretty game and the customiztion of character and armor was good as well. I kind of hope they can eventually make a sequel and fix what was wrong with the first game.

I played it a while back, and while I thought the norse mythology was nice change, and some of the mechanics were good, the sum of its parts is what really damned it. I think the most damaging thing was the controls, but still, as a whole, Too Human just sucked...

WanderingFool:

TheCodman:
Am I the only one that liked this game? I guess I really wanted to like this game as it was based on Norse mythology. But even though the gameplay was clunky I did think it was a pretty game and the customiztion of character and armor was good as well. I kind of hope they can eventually make a sequel and fix what was wrong with the first game.

I played it a while back, and while I thought the norse mythology was nice change, and some of the mechanics were good, the sum of its parts is what really damned it. I think the most damaging thing was the controls, but still, as a whole, Too Human just sucked...

Hey, at least the game won the "Too Human- Award For Inexplicable Excellence- award"! :D

I really want to try this game out though. So many people say that it sucks, but there are some that say that it is a different kind of experience (in a good way).

I feel that having bought Too Human ruined my reputation. They owe me about $.25 to fix that and a million for wasting my time

Did they honestly think the sequels would make 30 mil after how shit the first one was?

I still feel bad because Silicon Knights had a pretty good resume right until Too Human. They gave us Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen, Eternal Darkness, and Twin Snakes, and I loved all of those.

So my friends still make fun of me for telling them that Too Human was going to be fantastic... and, well, it SHOULD have been. I really don't know what happened, but that one flop really exploded in their faces.

Well, I guess all this really hangs on exactly what Epic promised them that the U3 engine would be able to do that it simply couldn't. Epic really has gone into the engine business these last few years, and I imagine some game designers license it because it's probably the biggest dog in the fight. It would not be the first story I have heard about how choosing U3 wound up being a bigger pain than a game designer thought it would be though.
Shoe-horning their game into the limitations of U3 may have been a bigger project than Silicone Knights were up to. But if they could document that Epic oversold U3's capabilities, they might have a case. My guess is (even if completely true) SK can't produce documentation that proves the case, so now they are going through hoops trying to prove anything.

(Listens to the Zero Punctuation review of "Too Human".)

... space marine hero #580 billion...

... boring self-righteous robotic twats with all the warmth and emotion of a glass of water...

... this is just all bad all the time...

... more issues than pixels...

... melee combat feels sticky and awkward and flows like a river of bricks...

And on and on. I know Yahtzee's perhaps not the best of people to use, but he is a great source of complaints and I'd say less than a third of his complaints could possibly be considered engine related. I fail to see how things like an unskippable on-death cutscene and filler and what the august Mr. Croshaw calls "the stink of the auteur" could be blamed on the engine.

Gotta say, though, Yahtzee nailed it hard when he said "It proudly announces its intention to be the first part of an epic trilogy which in terms of tempting fate is right up there with a character in a horror movie uttering the words 'everything is going to be all right' and getting their tits out."

Trishbot:
I still feel bad because Silicon Knights had a pretty good resume right until Too Human. They gave us Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen, Eternal Darkness, and Twin Snakes, and I loved all of those.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to be "that guy", because I love the Legacy of Kain series ever so much. The first game was technically "Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain" rather than the other way around. No, I don't expect you to respond to or care about my post, because I am indeed being a pedantic shit, but that's just how I get about some things.

OT: I had no idea this was even a thing. I guess I didn't care enough to remember when the lawsuit was first announced. I was genuinely surprised when the article stated this had been going for years. I guess it's a slow-moving case.

Tsaba:
So let me get this straight:
1. It flopped at E3
2. They rebuilt the Unreal Engine 3
3. Which resulted in a delay of the game for 2 years
4. Which "resulted" in poor sales.
and this is why they are suing Epic, because, they as a video game company sucked at life. I'm just making sure I'm getting this right.

silicon is saying that Epic is the reason for your first point (it flopped at e3). and because of that 1st point, 2-4 followed. thus Epic is at fault for all 4 points. thats what silicon is saying anyway, and i can kinda see where they're coming from, but they've put too much blame on epic. especially considering all that money they 'lost' is nothing but speculation. for all they know everything could have gone off without a hitch and the game still might have sucked.

oddly enough, i still want to see a sequel for Too Human. i really want to see just HOW MUCH better it'll be over the original

Steve Butts:
The consequent delay, according to Silicon Knights, "caused decreased sales of Too Human, caused Microsoft to end negotiations to develop two sequels... damaged Silicon Knights reputation, and impaired Silicon Knights' ability to secure future development projects."

Yeah, because I'm sure that Too Human being a shitty game that received too much "It's going to be awesome" hype had nothing to do with any of that misfortune.

Trishbot:
I still feel bad because Silicon Knights had a pretty good resume right until Too Human. They gave us Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen, Eternal Darkness, and Twin Snakes, and I loved all of those.

I'll give you Blood Omen and Eternal Darkness, but Twin Snakes was basically just a graphical remake. The fact that the game wasn't buggy is the only thing that SK can take credit for with that one.

lol, Silicon Knights. 10+ Billion dollars lost for two sequels? The first one, being an utter cock slap in the face towards anything epic about the Norse gods and their mythology, was hardly worth the $60 I spent on it when it first came out. Maybe $15, if I'm being extremely generous..

..That said, I do want a remake of the game. Just, that is, by a far more competent company.

I saw plenty of good news and humor in this post.
There is NO Too Human 2 or 3. Thank god. We don't need the Norse mythos butchered any worse by the talentless hacks who handled the first game.
Too Human 2 + 3 were gonna be 30+ mill in profits? I hope they were at the Apollo when they said that cause it sure as hell cracked me up.
Also, most likely means Silicone Knights isn't getting shit from their bogus lawsuit.

If anything, Microsoft and Sega should sue them to get their money back for helping with the engine development, since according to Knights, they never got it/needed it.

I kind of wish SK win this case you know, at least they brought a little variety into their games, which is a lot more than can be said for EPIC. Plus I wanted DLC and sequels for Too Human, a few tweaks and it would have been a very good game in my opinion.

TheCodman:
Am I the only one that liked this game? I guess I really wanted to like this game as it was based on Norse mythology. But even though the gameplay was clunky I did think it was a pretty game and the customiztion of character and armor was good as well. I kind of hope they can eventually make a sequel and fix what was wrong with the first game.

Don't worry dude, I feel exactly the same way. My only gripe with Too Human was the horribly long winded and unskippable death sequence, but there was a solution to that, don't suck at the game and avoid dying. Everything else they got at least good in my opinion.

I am really confused at Silicon Knight's argument here, as with their effort to rebuild an engine that is already solid, they pretty much voided the warranty right there.
Seriously, how many cases go forward when someone is electrocuted by a product that they obviously rebuilt themselves and they try to sue the manufacturer for damages?

"This toaster burnt my house down! I want money!" "Would that be because you added zippo lighters inside the mechanism in order to 'toast the bread better?'"

CardinalPiggles:
I kind of wish SK win this case you know, at least they brought a little variety into their games, which is a lot more than can be said for EPIC. Plus I wanted DLC and sequels for Too Human, a few tweaks and it would have been a very good game in my opinion.

In Epic's defense, the main part of their business has always been their game engines that they are making money hand-over-fist from licensing. Their ability to make an actual fun game fell into question when they released Unreal Tournament 3. Silicon Knights, on the other hand, screwed things up on themselves when they decided to tinker with the engine. I honestly don't see how the case got this far. Maybe Epic didn't get as good a lawyer from most of their budget going to "Making CliffyB a Badass."

If you are going to add 2 years to development in order to rebuild an already made engine, you may as well just develop your own.

How the hell do you even begin to estimate how much money you have "lost" from a game that doesn't and never did exist?

The delay had nothing to do with the game selling poorly. It sold poorly because it was a shitty game. Yahtzee himself crapped all over it in his review. I played it, and I can tell you, it sucked! Honestly, those tards at Silicon Knights better be glad I'm not on the jury in this case. I'd tell them this flat out.

They wanna make up for lost money? Make an Eternal Darkness sequel. Or just re-release the original in HD.

Incompetents, always using the same litany.

It was a terrible game. Sillicon nights just need to put distance between them and thier game. They were too attached to it and didn't see the games problems when they were testing it.

Make a better game, nothing can undo a game sucking.

Silicon, Too Human didn't suck because of your engine problems, it sucked because you guys made some of the worst design choices ever. Stop trying to blame others because you made a terrible game.

TheCodman:
Am I the only one that liked this game? I guess I really wanted to like this game as it was based on Norse mythology. But even though the gameplay was clunky I did think it was a pretty game and the customiztion of character and armor was good as well. I kind of hope they can eventually make a sequel and fix what was wrong with the first game.

It was one of my first 360 games as well, I chose it because I kinda liked the demo and the setting appealed to me. The game however is so full of bad design and flawed execution that the chances of a sequel are roughly 0, bordering on the side of the unreal numbers.

If you want epic smashing & gunplay, get Spacemarine and pretend you're a viking.

So they rebuilt the Unreal 3 engine to do WHAT ? There is nothing in this game that most demos couldn't do. Iirc, the team around the "Angels fall first" project did get much more out of the engine unalterd then Silicon Knights did.

Those demands are a bad joke - unless someone at epic wrote and signed them a document "If you use our unreal 3 engine, even your three interns can do the required coding for your whole project." I see no possibility of epic falsly advertising the capabilities of their engine.

I think SK should be paying Epic for keeping them from losing millions on a sequel that would have lost money.

I bet you anything if they made the judge/jury/everyone play the game they'd dismiss the case as "Your game simply sucked" instead of "We lost time which lost us money".

Noticed how in the article Silicon Knights made no mention of how terrible the game ended up (Well, disappointing at least). That's why they lost sales... because silicon knights is a mediocre developer. None of their games are very good after looking it up... Twin Snakes doesnt count it's a remake.

Anyone else remember I believe EGM having it as a cover story years ago? lolol. Would never have predicted this...

ultratog1028:
It was a terrible game. Sillicon nights just need to put distance between them and thier game. They were too attached to it and didn't see the games problems when they were testing it.

Make a better game, nothing can undo a game sucking.

I think X-men destiny was supposed to be a spiritual successor now that I think about it.. similar gameplay from what i've seen. And they're both equally panned!

I guess you're right- they're really attached to that game.

Edit: I just found out they get Government Funding... so if you're Canadian, remember that you're paying for their games.. even if you don't buy them.

they gonna blame anyone else for the mediocre reviews to X-Men Destiny?
given I do wanna try the game and it's only said to be meh rather than the bashing Too Human got (wonder how much the X-Men license cost them lol)

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