Report: Judge Awards Epic $4.45 Million in Silicon Knights Countersuit

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Report: Judge Awards Epic $4.45 Million in Silicon Knights Countersuit

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The end of a five-year case surrounding the Unreal Engine 3 sees Epic Games leave on top.

A source close to the ongoing case between Too Human developer Silicon Knights and Epic Games has told the Escapist that a judge has awarded Epic $4.45 million in damages, instantly shifting Silicon Knights from its hopeful $54 million payday, to actually owing money to the company it was attempting to sue.

"We are delighted with the jury's verdict and all of the hard work done by the Hunton & Williams legal team," said Jay Andrews, Epic's General Counsel.

The ruling followed two recent case milestones, neither of which had foreshadowed much hope of a Knights victory in what has now been a five-year-long affair. Troubles began last week, when the courts ruled that due to an invalid expert testimony, no claim (if accepted) against Epic could be awarded more than a dollar in recompense. Soon, the thought of even a quick, hypothetical seven-dollar check vanished when later that same week, all claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices previously levied were dismissed outright.

While Epic has remained somewhat tight-lipped regarding the specifics of its counterclaims since the announcement of their filing in 2007, most center around copyright infringement of the Unreal Engine 3's code. Silicon Knights' initial lawsuit rested upon the idea that Epic had misrepresented the engine, forcing it's developers to build a more competent one from scratch. The result, Knights claimed, was a rushed production schedule, a hypothetically inferior product, and a massive loss of potential sales. Epic, however, holds that during this time, Silicon Knights had full access to the Unreal Engine 3's code, and may have infringed upon it while reconstructing the core of Too Human.

Code copyright infringement is extremely complex, even for the great legal minds among us, and with no specific details on what was found during the court's proceedings, it's impossible to say exactly why the $4.5 million was awarded. This ruling does, however, marks the final judgment of this case, with all claims ruled in Epic's favor.

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Ouch. Bad day to be a Silicon Knights employee. Then again, I suppose every day is a bad day to be employed at a failing development studio that hasn't made a good game in years.

Silcon's wallet is gunna be thor tomorrow.

And the last nail hit Silicon's Coffin.

I didn't have a side in this case but I have to go with Epic on this one. Mostly because they made the engine which Silicon voluntarily took.

Well Eternal Darkness 2 is off the table forever now >.<

AxelxGabriel:
Well Eternal Darkness 2 is off the table forever now >.<

It depends on who ends up with the IP once Silicon Knights goes under (and after this it'll take some sort of miracle not to go under). The best we can hope for is for someone who actually wants to do it to get the rights, but then we're lookin at a best case scenario of a couple years before we even hear anythin about it.

Edit -

Let this be a lesson to everyone. If you make a shit game just own up to the fact that it is a shit game. Don't try to make your money back by suin someone else. More importantly, if you do sue someone else make sure your case actually makes some damn sense.

pretty much doomed to happen. Can they use this as an excuse to fire Dyack now?

I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

but..... THERE WAS ONLY ONE VIABLE CLASS OUT OF SIX!

no, I really hated Too Human. I tried playing the Ranger class as my main character because I like guns.

Second Level? everything was immune to all of my weapons.

.... I..... I never got past the second level, nor the part of the second level where you were on the giant disks and enemies kept spawning.

OT: oh this is sad day.

I liked how Silicon Knights did their games, most were not good, but they did them to the best of their ability unlike other developers which just make bad games.

Hopefully they dont dissolve, we have already lost too many developers in the past few years.

Kalezian:

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

but..... THERE WAS ONLY ONE VIABLE CLASS OUT OF SIX!

no, I really hated Too Human. I tried playing the Ranger class as my main character because I like guns.

Second Level? everything was immune to all of my weapons.

.... I..... I never got past the second level, nor the part of the second level where you were on the giant disks and enemies kept spawning.

You were obviously just bad at the game then. Different enemies were immune to different attacks, this is something that gets praised in pretty much every other game that has ever come out, why not this one?

The only problem I had was that stupidly long and boring death sequence, yes it's better in some ways than a corpse run, but at least with a corpse run you had something to do.

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

Another person who liked Too Human! I heard they existed, but I never believed I'd find one.
I'm in agreement, it's a real shame, the game had an interesting premise, and of course that friggin' cliff-hanger that will almost assuredly never get resolved now.

If they had done a few tweaks to the combat system and made the death animation go a little bit faster I think the game would've been much more well received, too bad they'll never get the chance now.

CardinalPiggles:

Kalezian:

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

but..... THERE WAS ONLY ONE VIABLE CLASS OUT OF SIX!

no, I really hated Too Human. I tried playing the Ranger class as my main character because I like guns.

Second Level? everything was immune to all of my weapons.

.... I..... I never got past the second level, nor the part of the second level where you were on the giant disks and enemies kept spawning.

You were obviously just bad at the game then. Different enemies were immune to different attacks, this is something that gets praised in pretty much every other game that has ever come out, why not this one?

The only problem I had was that stupidly long and boring death sequence, yes it's better in some ways than a corpse run, but at least with a corpse run you had something to do.

that was the thing, I had multiple weapons because I knew there would of been some immune to specific damage.

Its been a while but I think I had three different guns and two types of swords. I guess while I wasn't looking, Loki made them into dart guns and giant feathers.

And then, yes, the death scenes. After getting the seventh in a row I just turned the game off for a few weeks, when I came back the Online Multiplayer was a joke.

I think there was only about five people playing, including me.

RatRace123:

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

Another person who liked Too Human! I heard they existed, but I never believed I'd find one.
I'm in agreement, it's a real shame, the game had an interesting premise, and of course that friggin' cliff-hanger that will almost assuredly never get resolved now.

If they had done a few tweaks to the combat system and made the death animation go a little bit faster I think the game would've been much more well received, too bad they'll never get the chance now.

image

Maybe the franchise can be rescued, but I doubt Silicon Knights will be.

Kalezian:

CardinalPiggles:

Kalezian:

but..... THERE WAS ONLY ONE VIABLE CLASS OUT OF SIX!

no, I really hated Too Human. I tried playing the Ranger class as my main character because I like guns.

Second Level? everything was immune to all of my weapons.

.... I..... I never got past the second level, nor the part of the second level where you were on the giant disks and enemies kept spawning.

You were obviously just bad at the game then. Different enemies were immune to different attacks, this is something that gets praised in pretty much every other game that has ever come out, why not this one?

The only problem I had was that stupidly long and boring death sequence, yes it's better in some ways than a corpse run, but at least with a corpse run you had something to do.

that was the thing, I had multiple weapons because I knew there would of been some immune to specific damage.

Its been a while but I think I had three different guns and two types of swords. I guess while I wasn't looking, Loki made them into dart guns and giant feathers.

And then, yes, the death scenes. After getting the seventh in a row I just turned the game off for a few weeks, when I came back the Online Multiplayer was a joke.

I think there was only about five people playing, including me.

That's weird, the last time I played there must have been about 20 or 30 games going. I have a mental image of scrolling through pages of available games to join.

Ah well. It doesn't matter anyway because there will most likely never be a new one.

two things I hate about Too Human was the control scheme and the long death scene... a third would be the camera but that goes along the control scheme other then those, I actually liked the game.

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

I agree with you 100%

This is honestly almost a big a tragedy as Advent Rising not seeing a sequel. I loved the cliff hanger both games ended on... Time to go be sad...

Terminate421:
And the last nail hit Silicon's Coffin.

I didn't have a side in this case but I have to go with Epic on this one. Mostly because they made the engine which Silicon voluntarily took.

I don't really understand your reasoning.

Epic supposedly supplied an engine that didn't (yet) have all its promised features. Epic block Silicon Knights from being able to let their witnesses testify on the matter.

Epic also claim that Silicon Knights may have possibly copied code from UE3, on the basis that Silicon Knights had the code available to them when they made their own engine. And a jury, which is unlikely to be able to understand what this even means, grants Epic $4.45 million.

Okay?

CardinalPiggles:

Kalezian:

CardinalPiggles:

You were obviously just bad at the game then. Different enemies were immune to different attacks, this is something that gets praised in pretty much every other game that has ever come out, why not this one?

The only problem I had was that stupidly long and boring death sequence, yes it's better in some ways than a corpse run, but at least with a corpse run you had something to do.

that was the thing, I had multiple weapons because I knew there would of been some immune to specific damage.

Its been a while but I think I had three different guns and two types of swords. I guess while I wasn't looking, Loki made them into dart guns and giant feathers.

And then, yes, the death scenes. After getting the seventh in a row I just turned the game off for a few weeks, when I came back the Online Multiplayer was a joke.

I think there was only about five people playing, including me.

That's weird, the last time I played there must have been about 20 or 30 games going. I have a mental image of scrolling through pages of available games to join.

Ah well. It doesn't matter anyway because there will most likely never be a new one.

ah, must of been a resurgence of interest.

or people wanted to get the achievements for it.

anyway, the fact we wont be able to see how they wanted the story to pan out really does suck, I was thinking about replaying it through when I went back to check the online portion, but then the whole law suits came, and then the rumors of Silicon Knights never being able to finish the trilogy.

Had they been able to get the second game out, I think they could of vastly improved on everything, death scenes that take forever included.

Kalezian:
Had they been able to get the second game out, I think they could of vastly improved on everything, death scenes that take forever included.

Maybe someone will buy the franchise? Or even save the whole company?? That's happened before right?

If only I had the money.

DVS BSTrD:
Silcon's wallet is gunna be thor tomorrow.

Well they ODIN me some money

Kalezian:

but..... THERE WAS ONLY ONE VIABLE CLASS OUT OF SIX!

no, I really hated Too Human. I tried playing the Ranger class as my main character because I like guns.

Second Level? everything was immune to all of my weapons.

The Commando still had a competent melee, use it when required.

At higher levels it was the most broken class, killing entire enemy spawn groups before they'd finished their spawn animation. (and I say that in the face of my mate's berzerker, who could one shot some bosses, everything else I killed before he pinballed over to them)

The real problem with Too Human was that there was basically no information at all about how you were actually supposed to play it and it's not built around the expected genre conventions (It's secretly a twin stick shooter with melee). Nothing, for instance, tells you that the dodge roll makes you invincible. This meant that videogame reviewers, who are dim, couldn't figure it out and never actually progressed beyond the stage of dying all the time because they don't stop and think "maybe I'm doing this wrong" and try other things.

I think this decision is a real shame. mostly because I've been struggling to defend SK for years, and now I'm wondering why I bothered.

I really enjoyed Too Human.
Once I beat it, it became clear that the early bosses were so hard because: the game was designed to be played through multiple times. It seemed like a game that reveled in being too hard and dense. (I remember thinking the beginning was confusing and awkward. the second world was frustrating. but by the third world I got it, and started kicking ass instead of dying. and then the fourth/final world was completely thrilling (all out war on hell!). In the end, the slow start made the second half more satisfying. I think most of the haters didn't finish the game.)

I hope Dyack doesn't remain silent on all this. I'm sure he's been advised not to comment on shit in a combative manner (ever again, if at all possible). but. I really enjoyed his rambling rants back during the NeoGAF crap. I really thought he was a misunderstood interesting intelligent dude. He said some weird things I didn't follow or agree with (one console future comes to mind).

but now I find his silence deafening.

I believe this is what qualifies as a critical failure.

JediMB:

Terminate421:
And the last nail hit Silicon's Coffin.

I didn't have a side in this case but I have to go with Epic on this one. Mostly because they made the engine which Silicon voluntarily took.

I don't really understand your reasoning.

Epic supposedly supplied an engine that didn't (yet) have all its promised features. Epic block Silicon Knights from being able to let their witnesses testify on the matter.

Epic also claim that Silicon Knights may have possibly copied code from UE3, on the basis that Silicon Knights had the code available to them when they made their own engine. And a jury, which is unlikely to be able to understand what this even means, grants Epic $4.45 million.

Okay?

The reasoning is sound. You know what other game used the Unreal Engine 3 when it just came out? Mass Effect. And that game came out a full year before Too Human. Hell, Rainbow Six Vegas came out 2 years before Too Human came out and STILL garnered critical acclaim. Silicon Knights really can't pin Too Human sucking on the engine.

shintakie10:

AxelxGabriel:
Well Eternal Darkness 2 is off the table forever now >.<

It depends on who ends up with the IP once Silicon Knights goes under (and after this it'll take some sort of miracle not to go under). The best we can hope for is for someone who actually wants to do it to get the rights, but then we're lookin at a best case scenario of a couple years before we even hear anythin about it.

Knowing our luck, it'll be EA who gets it >.<

Reading this, immediate reaction: "Awh, crap"

Regardless of the situation and the questionable nature of all this, EA getting even more bloody money is a dark day for the entire industry. Moreso that one of the few great Canadian companies has to go on top of that. I don't know if I buy Silicon Knights's whole story and why they should be paid, but there's no way we should be able to look at this and go, "this is good for us in the long run". It just isn't.

Were I to reach my goal in this industry, it would still be many years from now when I'd have the pull to suggest buying the Eternal Darkness IP... unfortunate. The only possibly good thing that could come out of all this is a new company with a bit of a faster game creation cycle getting the IP and actually making a game with it. Like AxelxGabriel, I don't suppose we're that lucky... If Silent Hill has taught me anything, it's that even the most foolproof IP can still be ruined eternally by clumsy hands. Fallout 3 taught me that old IP retaken can be an amazing thing, if you can accept some on-the-surface bizarre changes, so don't give up just yet.

koroem:

CardinalPiggles:
I guess we'll never see Too Human 2 then, which is a shame because Too human had great potential.

(Yes I liked Too Human, get off my back!).

I agree with you 100%

This is honestly almost a big a tragedy as Advent Rising not seeing a sequel. I loved the cliff hanger both games ended on... Time to go be sad...

I see your advent rising and raise you a psi ops.

OT: I've never been the biggest fan of the unreal engine for anything that allows for three dimensional movement, but SK should have done their own research and known what they were getting into when they decided to use it.

AxelxGabriel:

shintakie10:

AxelxGabriel:
Well Eternal Darkness 2 is off the table forever now >.<

It depends on who ends up with the IP once Silicon Knights goes under (and after this it'll take some sort of miracle not to go under). The best we can hope for is for someone who actually wants to do it to get the rights, but then we're lookin at a best case scenario of a couple years before we even hear anythin about it.

Knowing our luck, it'll be EA who gets it >.<

Unless an indie dev picks it up the chances of EA or Activision not pickin it up are slim at best. Its got enough fan support in order for one of them to want to snatch it up. The worry is that they don't think it'll sell well enough to do anythin outside of prevent their competitors from pickin up the IP.

So.....no fighting ice giants in robotic finland of the future?

*weeps silently*

Terminate421:
And the last nail hit Silicon's Coffin.

And Silicon, too, had an overlong, unskippable death...

DVS BSTrD:
Silcon's wallet is gunna be thor tomorrow.

They're going to go into a corner somewhere and baldur eyes out.

nice choice of an image for the article lol...

playing through X-Men Destiny atm and well...it's okay Silicon Knights, but for your sake hope this recent game made y'all at least a $4.45 million profit lol...

JordanXlord:

DVS BSTrD:
Silcon's wallet is gunna be thor tomorrow.

Well they ODIN me some money

Would you two keep your uproar down a few notches!?

. . .

Thank you. Keep it LOKI.

All this talk of suing for millions is making me irritated & nauseous.

Lugbzurg:

JordanXlord:

DVS BSTrD:
Silcon's wallet is gunna be thor tomorrow.

Well they ODIN me some money

Would you two keep your uproar down a few notches!?

. . .

Thank you. Keep it LOKI.

C'mon, please. Idunn think you should be joking about this.

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