Silicon Knights Must Destroy Its Works By December

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Silicon Knights Must Destroy Its Works By December

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Any unsold product Silicon Knights built using Unreal Engine 3 must be recalled and destroyed by December 10th.

The end times have come for Too Human, X-Men: Destiny and a host of other Silicon Knights properties, all built using Unreal Engine 3. A judge's November ruling, as part of the resolution to Epic Games' countersuit which Silicon Knights spectacularly lost in May, states that unsold copies of the games must be recalled and destroyed by December 10th, 2012.

"Overwhelming evidence establishes and supports Epic Games' copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation counterclaims," the judgement's conclusion says. "Silicon Knights' arguments to the contrary are baseless."

The full text of the ruling can be found here but the bits worth looking at are on pages 40 and 41. The scourges include:

3. After Silicon Knights has removed all of Epic Games' Licensed Technology from Silicon Knights' game engine, and after Epic Games has, at Silicon Knights' expense, independently verified that Silicon Knights' game engine no longer contains any of Epic Games' Licensed Technology, Silicon Knights shall destroy the code for all prior versions of Silicon Knights' game engine in its possession.

5. Not later than December 10th, 2012, Silicon Knights shall destroy all versions of the Licensed Technology in its possession, including (but not limited to) the video game code and game engine for Too Human, The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, X-Men: Destiny and Siren in the Maelstrom ...

6. Silicon Knights shall cease producing or distributing ... and shall recall and destroy (at Silicon Knights' expense) all unsold copies ...

Silicon Knights has until December 21st to let the court and Epic know how it's getting on with the recall and destruction of its product line.

Silicon Knights is looking at a grim future. Leaving aside the $4.45 million in damages Silicon has to pay to Epic, recalling and destroying unsold product at its own expense, as well as trashing any part of its code Epic's technology ever touched, is going to be a nightmare.

Plus Epic gets to independently verify the destruction. No doubt Epic will enjoy itself, in a grim satisfaction sort of way, but it has to be galling for Silicon to have the company it was trying to sue for $54 million on-site, either in the virtual or the real world sense, sniffing around for dirt and sticking Silicon with the tab.

Source: Eurogamer

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*Sigh* So REALLY no hope for an Eternal Darkness sequel?

As a gamer, I find the idea that a company can be forced to destroy an entire game completely as a result of a court order to be... chilling, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

I'm against copyright infringement and all of that, but something about the idea of a company absolutely destroying code worries me. (NOTE: This may just be my inner pack rat that doesn't like the idea of any such work being completely destroyed)

All this because you somehow couldn't make a game about Norse Gods fun to play >(

So I guess a sequel to Too Human that actually has good gameplay is too much to hope for now?

Because hoping for it before was totally worthwhile.

And nothing of value was lost.

Too Human and XMen Destiny are number 1 and 2 on my list of most hated videogames that I've played.

Falterfire:

Specifically, it worries me with regards to Steam: If any of these games had been on Steam (Were they? I don't know, they're not titles I'm familiar with and they don't seem to be there now) would Valve have been forced to delete titles from owner's libraries?

Its talking about the source code and materials used in the production of the games, not the actual games sold. All steam would do is remove the game from their severs and shop list, but they couldn't and wouldn't delete user side, but you would have to make sure that game is backed up somewhere as you couldn't re-download again.

but still that's going to be a really shit day at their offices.

Edit: Also i'd suspect (if i know the odd Dev here and there) someone will attempt to back up and smuggle offsite soon as, perhaps leak it if necessary on a 'External breach due to shifting of equipment' Because honestly, most of those guys would love to piss off epic right now.

Falterfire:
As a gamer, I find the idea that a company can be forced to destroy an entire game completely as a result of a court order to be... chilling, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

I'm against copyright infringement and all of that, but something about the idea of a company absolutely destroying code worries me.

Specifically, it worries me with regards to Steam: If any of these games had been on Steam (Were they? I don't know, they're not titles I'm familiar with and they don't seem to be there now) would Valve have been forced to delete titles from owner's libraries?

The order only applies to unsold copies so games bought on steam will be unaffected.

DVS BSTrD:
All this because you somehow couldn't make a game about Norse Gods fun to play >(

It's all because they chose to commit copyright infringement on someone else's IP.

Falterfire:
As a gamer, I find the idea that a company can be forced to destroy an entire game completely as a result of a court order to be... chilling, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

I'm against copyright infringement and all of that, but something about the idea of a company absolutely destroying code worries me.

Specifically, it worries me with regards to Steam: If any of these games had been on Steam (Were they? I don't know, they're not titles I'm familiar with and they don't seem to be there now) would Valve have been forced to delete titles from owner's libraries?

I don't know. Ask Gabe Newell, or have the Escapist staff do it for you. AFAIK the games aren't for the PC.

l3o2828:
*Sigh* So REALLY no hope for an Eternal Darkness sequel?

Well Nintendo could always buy the IP and give it to one of their studios to develop.Actually looking at SK's output over the last number of years it might be better if they had nothing to do with a possible sequel

Falterfire:
I'm against copyright infringement and all of that, but something about the idea of a company absolutely destroying code worries me.

I don't find it chilling in the slightest, it serves as a reminder that dishonest business practice will catch up with you eventually.

Silicon Knights licensed the Unreal Engine 3, for whatever reason they decided it's capabilities in 2006 weren't to their liking. Rather than attempt to work with Epic, or look at alternate products, they sued. There's a pretty solid argument that the suit had little to do with Epic and Unreal Engine 3 at all, but that SK had realised they were onto a loser with Too Human and had massively under estimated their own technical expertise. The suit being more about trying to recoup lost development costs than dishonesty on Epic's part.

To this end, they filed a claim for damages, claiming various fraud, breach of contract and that Epic had flat out lied about UE3's capabilities.

The entire law suit hinged on the technical capabilities of UE3, yet Silicon Knight's sole expert witness was an accountant, an accountant with no programming expertise at all.

Between the original filing and now, Silicon Knights have tried a whole host of delaying strategies, apparently angling for an out of court settlement as they must have known their case was flimsy.

However, whilst all this was going on, Silicon Knights have developed and released several titles using a game engine that bears more than a passing resemblance to UE3. All without paying any kind of license fee or royalties.

Yet Epic has got them to court, it's taken more than five years but they got there, got the one witness thrown out of court, got all the claims thrown out and have been awarded damages for the various products SK sold in the intervening years using Epic's technology.

Silicon Knights seem to have worked themselves into a corner, then tried to bully their way out of it. The plan has unraveled spectacularly and likely means the end of Silicon Knights.

Perhaps if they had spent the money developing Too Human properly instead of baiting Epic this would all have turned out different.

Falterfire:
Specifically, it worries me with regards to Steam: If any of these games had been on Steam (Were they? I don't know, they're not titles I'm familiar with and they don't seem to be there now) would Valve have been forced to delete titles from owner's libraries?

No, it won't.

The destruction order applies to development software and as yet unsold products. Obviously they will be removed from sale, but the game(s) you have installed now don't apply.

Although you may want to make back ups as it's unlikely you will be able to get hold of them anew in future.

Really? Destroying source code? Seriously?

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

This will boost sales for them and make remaining games collectionables.

fix-the-spade:

Falterfire:
I'm against copyright infringement and all of that, but something about the idea of a company absolutely destroying code worries me.

I don't find it chilling in the slightest, it serves as a reminder that dishonest business practice will catch up with you eventually.

Silicon Knights licensed the Unreal Engine 3, for whatever reason they decided it's capabilities in 2006 weren't to their liking. Rather than attempt to work with Epic, or look at alternate products, they sued. There's a pretty solid argument that the suit had little to do with Epic and Unreal Engine 3 at all, but that SK had realised they were onto a loser with Too Human and had massively under estimated their own technical expertise. The suit being more about trying to recoup lost development costs than dishonesty on Epic's part.

To this end, they filed a claim for damages, claiming various fraud, breach of contract and that Epic had flat out lied about UE3's capabilities.

The entire law suit hinged on the technical capabilities of UE3, yet Silicon Knight's sole expert witness was an accountant, an accountant with no programming expertise at all.

Between the original filing and now, Silicon Knights have tried a whole host of delaying strategies, apparently angling for an out of court settlement as they must have known their case was flimsy.

However, whilst all this was going on, Silicon Knights have developed and released several titles using a game engine that bears more than a passing resemblance to UE3. All without paying any kind of license fee or royalties.

Yet Epic has got them to court, it's taken more than five years but they got there, got the one witness thrown out of court, got all the claims thrown out and have been awarded damages for the various products SK sold in the intervening years using Epic's technology.

Silicon Knights seem to have worked themselves into a corner, then tried to bully their way out of it. The plan has unraveled spectacularly and likely means the end of Silicon Knights.

Perhaps if they had spent the money developing Too Human properly instead of baiting Epic this would all have turned out different.

So, Sk got the Unreal 3 engine from Epic, found it was not what they wanted, made a "new" engine that was basically Unreal 3 with fuzzy dice, sued Epic games, got their ass handed to them in court, and now have to destroy all their unsold games made using " Unreal 3 Fuzzy Dice" Engine...

Im not sure whether I should be bothered by this or laughing my ass off.

You know, I'm no legal or technical expert but even I could have told you that Silicon Knights had absolutely no case with this lawsuit. The judge describing the claims as "Baseless" could not have been more accurate. The Unreal Engine is responsible for more high-quality triple A game releases in the last couple years than any other. Everyone seems to be capable of using it right. If Silicon Knights couldn't well... I fail to see how that's EPIC's fault.

The idea of a recall and destroy will ironically make the remaining copies of Too Human and X-Men Destiny much more valuable.

I remember when this case started. I read through every bit of material I could get and I knew Epic could come out winning. I didn't see this coming though.... This is just devastating.

I almost feel bad for Silicon Knights. Almost.

WanderingFool:

Im not sure whether I should be bothered by this or laughing my ass off.

Definitely the latter.

A huge chunk of the suit hinged on the idea that you couldn't possibly make a RPG with the Unreal Engine, a little thing called Mass Effect may be used as a counter point to this argument.

Welp, looks like the resale price for Eternal Darkness copies, GameCube controllers and memory packs is going to soar...

Someone really needs to pick up the Lovecraft fad. The last Call of Chtulhu PC game was serviceable at best, and ED was my first and best shot at metaphysical horror outside of the written word. I'd kill for something out of Lovecraft or Howard's trippier works that would make the transition to the small screen and controller in a successful fashion.

...or at this point, the Board could just cut their losses, file for bankruptcy and walk away from the entire fiasco. Given the company's financial state and what it's going to cost to comply with the court order, that probably makes a lot more sense than keeping SK going until the bitter, inevitable end.

esperandote:
This will boost sales for them and make remaining games collectionables.

Yup, and so it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone that a $100 Too Human copy is being sold on Ebay.

Mortuorum:
...or at this point, the Board could just cut their losses, file for bankruptcy and walk away from the entire fiasco. Given the company's financial state and what it's going to cost to comply with the court order, that probably makes a lot more sense than keeping SK going until the bitter, inevitable end.

That's probably true but wouldn't it require some form of common sense on the board's part?

I think, after reading this and other supplemental info, SK has proven they have common sense in VERY short supply, if any at all.

So this is the logical extreme of being unable to admit that you couldnt make a good game.

I suppose i should feel something for SK, but its hard to sympathise when theyve seemingly focused all thier efforts into getting vindication over thier accusation that Too Human was somehow Epic's fault.

I do feel kind of sorry for them, I'm pretty sure they don't have $4M lying around. Honestly I'm surprised they haven't completely disbanded yet.

esperandote:
This will boost sales for them and make remaining games collectibles.

I'm pretty sure I still have my copy of Too Human somewhere.

and let it be known this is what happens when you let the so-called "artists" run rampant throw their egos around

esperandote:
This will boost sales for them and make remaining games collectionables.

Boost sales of what? They have to destroy any unsold copies and the source materials. They literally have nothing to sell even if a sales boost happened. Maybe, it'd boost sales in the second hand market, but given how reviled the titles are I wouldn't bet on it.

Just to be clear, this won't effect Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes copies, right? Because they don't use any Unreal stuff?

I'll grant that SK was being kind of a dick, but ouch, that's harsh. I can't rejoice to see the countersuit put into effect provisions which will undoubtedly be the end of the company. They did, at one time, make some pretty good games.

Vivi22:

esperandote:
This will boost sales for them and make remaining games collectionables.

Boost sales of what? They have to destroy any unsold copies and the source materials. They literally have nothing to sell even if a sales boost happened. Maybe, it'd boost sales in the second hand market, but given how reviled the titles are I wouldn't bet on it.

Of the mint games that remain in retail before december 10th.

i'd say leak it into a torrent and watch it grow...

thats a pretty big dick move and it makes all sold copies of too human incredible valuable.

BehattedWanderer:
Just to be clear, this won't effect Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes copies, right? Because they don't use any Unreal stuff?

Yep, but I doubt there are any new copies of either of those floating around anywhere.

So... no Eternal Darkness sequel then?

But I guess this had to be expected from a company as disorganized as this.
I'm just sad this affected any chance of seeing another game similar to Eternal Darkness.

IamLEAM1983:
Welp, looks like the resale price for Eternal Darkness copies, GameCube controllers and memory packs is going to soar...

Someone really needs to pick up the Lovecraft fad. The last Call of Chtulhu PC game was serviceable at best, and ED was my first and best shot at metaphysical horror outside of the written word. I'd kill for something out of Lovecraft or Howard's trippier works that would make the transition to the small screen and controller in a successful fashion.

Not a console game, but The Secret World does take many inspirations from Lovecraft's work, I'm a huge fan of Eternal Darkness and I was glad to see a game that reminded me so much of Eternal Darkness in a good way.

IamLEAM1983:
Welp, looks like the resale price for Eternal Darkness copies, GameCube controllers and memory packs is going to soar...

Actually I don't think so. If I'm reading correctly this only applies to new unsold (is in, never opened) copies of games, and at that only ones that use UE3. Most people are going to be buying ED used at this point and I don't think it uses UE3 so this really shouldn't reduce avalability.

OT: dick move by Epic in response to a dick move by silicon knights. considering I hate both of them already, at this point I couldn't care less.

Falterfire:
Specifically, it worries me with regards to Steam: If any of these games had been on Steam (Were they? I don't know, they're not titles I'm familiar with and they don't seem to be there now) would Valve have been forced to delete titles from owner's libraries?

Yes and no. This ruling wouldn't have that effect. It's only interested in unsold copies. But, if you had a hypothetical case in the future where, say, Title X defamed a company, and the judge ordered "all copies of the game to be destroyed", it's entirely possible Steam would in fact have to delete purchased copies from account holders.

And, depending on how the order was written, it's entirely possible this would occur without Steam or the game's developer or publisher having to compensate anyone.

Ruairi iliffe:
Edit: Also i'd suspect (if i know the odd Dev here and there) someone will attempt to back up and smuggle offsite soon as, perhaps leak it if necessary on a 'External breach due to shifting of equipment' Because honestly, most of those guys would love to piss off epic right now.

It's always possible, but I doubt it. Doing so could be considered failure to comply with the order, which in turn could lead to even nastier sanctions.

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