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

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AzrealMaximillion:

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.

You missed the point.

Too Human ended up not using UE3, because it didn't have the needed (and promised features). After paying for the engine, they ended up having to spend precious development time on creating their own instead.

While I can't speak for how good (or bad) Too Human is, its visuals are a hell of a lot more impressive than the original Mass Effect's, with an exception only for human faces, and combat looks to be a whole lot more flexible. (And Rainbow Six Vegas had rather shitty visuals too.)

I say that assuming that the claim regarding missing/promised features is true, Silicon Knights deserve compensation. If they're lying, however, they obviously don't deserve anything. But pretending that Epic are in the right simply on account of Too Human not being a good game is absurd.

Any of you do any independent research at all before believing every word of this? Better yet, did it even cross your mind if any of this was true, or did you just eat it all up? Of course you did. Just believe whatever someone says on an internet forum -_-.

$100 says you'd all nod along no matter what claim gets made here. The Escapist should do a little experiment to teach all the sheep here a lesson. Make up a random report that's totally untrue--say EA fired a woman for requesting an extension on her maternity leave and she is now suing them, or something. Wait for a few pages of "this is so messed up" and "I hope EA loses, hur hur." Then spring the trap and have a good laugh in their faces while reminding them all how libel is a criminal offense.

I would very much like to see it. Make it happen, Escapist.

MasterSaji:

Lugbzurg:

JordanXlord:

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.

All these puns are brining me to Tyrs.

JediMB:

AzrealMaximillion:

JediMB:

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.

You missed the point.

Too Human ended up not using UE3, because it didn't have the needed (and promised features). After paying for the engine, they ended up having to spend precious development time on creating their own instead.

While I can't speak for how good (or bad) Too Human is, its visuals are a hell of a lot more impressive than the original Mass Effect's, with an exception only for human faces, and combat looks to be a whole lot more flexible. (And Rainbow Six Vegas had rather shitty visuals too.)

I say that assuming that the claim regarding missing/promised features is true, Silicon Knights deserve compensation. If they're lying, however, they obviously don't deserve anything. But pretending that Epic are in the right simply on account of Too Human not being a good game is absurd.

See now your reasoning seems to be flawed here. Too Human technically still ran on the UE3 engine, just a severely modified one with "improvements" according to SK. They were contractually bound to use the engine so they had no choice but to use it.

And really Mass Effect looks a hell of a lot better visually than Too Human simply because ME actually ran smoothly. And really, your saying that Rainbow Six Vegas looked bad? That game came out 2 years before Too Human so saying it looks bad compared to it seems rather pointless. And you can't really discount my point of bringing up those two games because they used the UE3 engine and worked fine functionally, as have dozens of other games that came out before Too Human.

Epic is in the right here because SK broke the contract agreement of using the UE3 engine. SK heavily modified the engine and then named it the "Silicon Knights Engine". Most of the 4.5 million they have to pay up is reimbursing Epic for court costs. This was a frivolous lawsuit on SK's behalf.

Listen SK is a company that should have been closed down years ago. Living in Canada I can tell you that they've been surviving on literally millions of government subsidy dollars for years. It's not like they've made many reputable games since Eternal Darkness and that was 8 freaking years ago.

JordanXlord:

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

Well they ODIN me some money

Loki here, another pun.

OT: I think the worst thing about this news is it means that there will never be a chance for Too Human to redeem itself. There was a lot that the game did right, but the few things it did wrong were big deals. Given the cliff-hanger ending, it's like ending Starwars after Empire. No closure at all, right as the story started to really mean something.

I'm boycotting any epic game now, Never again buying or even downloading one of them.
Silicon Knights brought me the awesome game series (Legacy of Kain), even though that basically got 'stolen' from them by another game company... Fact that Epic is effectively putting there competition out of buisness through these means..

Unlike alot of folks (it seems, at least), I really liked Too Human. Sure, it had plenty of room for improvements, but I really wanted to see the trilogy completed. First with 38 Studios and now this.... this week has been brutal.

SinisterDeath:
I'm boycotting any epic game now, Never again buying or even downloading one of them.
Silicon Knights brought me the awesome game series (Legacy of Kain), even though that basically got 'stolen' from them by another game company... Fact that Epic is effectively putting there competition out of buisness through these means..

Well, you enjoy the idea that it's all Epic's fault, and had nothing at all to do with SK releasing a bunch of shit games.

AzrealMaximillion:
See now your reasoning seems to be flawed here. Too Human technically still ran on the UE3 engine, just a severely modified one with "improvements" according to SK. They were contractually bound to use the engine so they had no choice but to use it.

You are commenting on an Escapist article. Within that article there is this bit of text:
"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. ...
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."

this contradicts what you are saying. Are you claiming the article is incorrect?

warrenEBB:

AzrealMaximillion:
See now your reasoning seems to be flawed here. Too Human technically still ran on the UE3 engine, just a severely modified one with "improvements" according to SK. They were contractually bound to use the engine so they had no choice but to use it.

You are commenting on an Escapist article. Within that article there is this bit of text:
"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. ...
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."

this contradicts what you are saying. Are you claiming the article is incorrect?

Thing is they didn't rebuild the engine from scratch. They couldn't contractually do so or they'd lose funding from their publisher MS games studio. So they built on top of the UE3 engine and called it the, "Silicon Knights Engine." I'm not saying the article is incorrect, but clearly SK either lied or forgot what the hell they said in 2007. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=14759

I wouldn't call modifying an engine "building one from scratch". I don't know how making "minimal changes" to the UE3 engine constitutes "making it from scratch."

SK screwed this up big time.

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

After the disaster that was Too Human, I will have to say I am glad that they cannot tarnish Eternal Darkness' legacy. Maybe somebody with competence will be able to do the IP justice.

JordanXlord:

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

Well they ODIN me some money

You should go Loke for better puns.

duchaked:
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...

Not with the way it got so horribly review bombed. I don't think I saw a single positive review from anyone.

It seems like the judge got irritated with Silicon Knights from an early stage (not that it wasn't justified, given their "expert's" testimony) and things kind of snowballed from there. That's what it looks like from way outside of things, anyway; that may be an oversimplification.

AzrealMaximillion:
Thing is they didn't rebuild the engine from scratch. They couldn't contractually do so or they'd lose funding from their publisher MS games studio. So they built on top of the UE3 engine and called it the, "Silicon Knights Engine." I'm not saying the article is incorrect, but clearly SK either lied or forgot what the hell they said in 2007. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=14759

I wouldn't call modifying an engine "building one from scratch". I don't know how making "minimal changes" to the UE3 engine constitutes "making it from scratch."

SK screwed this up big time.

Again, i feel you are modifying the facts. I admit they're confusing.

SK is quoted saying two key relevant things at your link, neither of which matches your statement:
1) "Progress on the Silicon Knights' Engine continues to date and, at this time, the Silicon Knights Engine is completely independent of Epic's Engine and certainly derives no benefit from the unworkable source code provided by Epic."

They clearly were saying that their engine was a separate creation, not a modification.

2) "(7) the game engine developed by Silicon Knights is totally independent of the Unreal Engine 3 and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights, or, alternatively, the game engine developed by Silicon Knights constitutes an "Enhancement" under the terms of the Agreement, and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights under the terms of that Agreement;"

I'm guessing this is the source of your perspective. But this is not admitting their engine is an enhancement. They are very carefully saying their engine is a SEPARATE entity, but they are willing to define it as "Enhancement" under the terms of the agreement, because "Enhancement" is a specific term that lets them consider their work separate from Epic's.

...

However, I believe Epic won their counter-suit by proving to a jury that SK's engine was not as separate as SK had claimed. While that may be truth, it does not mean SK ever admitted it.

P.s. you also quote "minimal changes". but I cannot find these words in your link. No idea where you're pulling that phrasing from.

Grey Day for Elcia:
Any of you do any independent research at all before believing every word of this? Better yet, did it even cross your mind if any of this was true, or did you just eat it all up? Of course you did. Just believe whatever someone says on an internet forum -_-.

$100 says you'd all nod along no matter what claim gets made here. The Escapist should do a little experiment to teach all the sheep here a lesson. Make up a random report that's totally untrue--say EA fired a woman for requesting an extension on her maternity leave and she is now suing them, or something. Wait for a few pages of "this is so messed up" and "I hope EA loses, hur hur." Then spring the trap and have a good laugh in their faces while reminding them all how libel is a criminal offense.

I would very much like to see it. Make it happen, Escapist.

Um... did I miss a check or a balance in there somewhere? What's your specific beef with this article? Did the author get something wrong? If so, maybe you should be pointing that out with evidence instead of... I don't know what you're doing. Advocating self-destructive trolling that would degrade people's trust in the website?

The game sucked alot - only the story idea was good, everything else sucked. Thats nothing to do with the game engine at all. An down to Silicon Knights incompetence. Also you dont just rush out a product you know is bad. All you did was kill samey enemies in same backgrounds again and again. An the death scene, oh my god, theres a game killer if ever i saw one. Thing is, if they left that long Valkyrie death scene in, and thought it was a great idea, then they cant blame the rest of the game being crap on Epic.

warrenEBB:

AzrealMaximillion:
Thing is they didn't rebuild the engine from scratch. They couldn't contractually do so or they'd lose funding from their publisher MS games studio. So they built on top of the UE3 engine and called it the, "Silicon Knights Engine." I'm not saying the article is incorrect, but clearly SK either lied or forgot what the hell they said in 2007. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=14759

I wouldn't call modifying an engine "building one from scratch". I don't know how making "minimal changes" to the UE3 engine constitutes "making it from scratch."

SK screwed this up big time.

Again, i feel you are modifying the facts. I admit they're confusing.

SK is quoted saying two key relevant things at your link, neither of which matches your statement:
1) "Progress on the Silicon Knights' Engine continues to date and, at this time, the Silicon Knights Engine is completely independent of Epic's Engine and certainly derives no benefit from the unworkable source code provided by Epic."

They clearly were saying that their engine was a separate creation, not a modification.

2) "(7) the game engine developed by Silicon Knights is totally independent of the Unreal Engine 3 and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights, or, alternatively, the game engine developed by Silicon Knights constitutes an "Enhancement" under the terms of the Agreement, and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights under the terms of that Agreement;"

I'm guessing this is the source of your perspective. But this is not admitting their engine is an enhancement. They are very carefully saying their engine is a SEPARATE entity, but they are willing to define it as "Enhancement" under the terms of the agreement, because "Enhancement" is a specific term that lets them consider their work separate from Epic's.

...

However, I believe Epic won their counter-suit by proving to a jury that SK's engine was not as separate as SK had claimed. While that may be truth, it does not mean SK ever admitted it.

P.s. you also quote "minimal changes". but I cannot find these words in your link. No idea where you're pulling that phrasing from.

Last paragraph of the the group of paragraphs titled "Silicon Knights Making Own Engine":

"In fact, at this juncture the Silicon Knights Engine should, at a minimum, be described under the Agreement as an "Enhancement" of Epic's Engine, which, as defined by the Agreement, is technology developed by Silicon Knights that improves upon the Engine and is therefore the property of Silicon Knights."

It's not hard to understand. The word "Enhancement" is even in quote in the article. The last sentence of the quote above also straight up says that the SK Engine's purpose was to "improve" upon the engine.

Then there's the following group of sentences:

"Moreover, as development of the Silicon Knights Engine continues, the amount of code from Epic's Engine employed by Silicon Knights continues to decrease. After the release of Silicon Knights' Too Human, all Epic code will be removed from the Silicon Knights Engine."

Now this is where they lost the case. They were contractually bound to use the UE3 Engine in order to keep Microsoft Games Studio as the source of funding for the game. SK is saying that their engine is independent here, which would effectively breach the contract, which is why Epic put up a counter suit in the first place. That and SK used the UE3 engine as the base for the SK Engine and called it independent, which is where the code copyright infringement comes into play.

SK should have taken legal action before even thinking of making their own engine if it was lacking the features they truly needed. MS was paying for the game so they would've backed up SK. Instead they claimed that the engine was incomplete (even though multiple games that came out prior to SK even getting the engine had been released with critical acclaim i.e. Rainbow Six Vegas) and went ahead with making their own engine using the UE3 code as a base.

What also bothers me is that they sued Epic a full year before the game's release. Again, why not notify the people funding the game that what they're paying for had "inadequacies"? They only had a beef with Epic after they got mock for the horrible Too Human E3 showing. That's why its very hard for me and a decent amount of other people to have sympathy for SK. They dug this hole themselves.

WhiteTigerShiro:

duchaked:
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...

Not with the way it got so horribly review bombed. I don't think I saw a single positive review from anyone.

yeahhhh I was being sardonic :P

Shame SK got shafted over this, but IP law is a nightmare (at least from my experience in pharma).

As a final act I propose they write Epic the cheque, then get some chick in a Valkyrie suit to hand-deliver it, taking at least 6 weeks.

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