UPDATED: Silicon Knights' Legal Claims Against Epic Worth $1.00 Each

| 24 May 2012 14:21

Too Human developer Silicon Knights hasn't lost, but winning is suddenly much less appealing.

About five years ago, Silicon Knights, developers of then-in-production Too Human, decided to take Epic Games to court. Epic, it claimed, cost the company an estimated $58 million dollars in damages due to problems with the Unreal Engine 3, which Silicon Knights had recently licensed. The engine was allegedly absent of certain promised features and support, leaving Silicon Knights anxious to make back the money it claims to have lost from developing on, what it considers, something other than what was promised. Recent public records reveal that, now, a new ruling in the law suit states that even if Silicon Knights eventually proves its case, Epic is off the hook from paying more than a few dollars in recompense.

By last December, Silicon Knights had already suffered a major setback when Chief District Judge James Dever III granted Epic's motion to exclude the testimony of its key expert, Terry Lloyd. Lloyd's analysis was to be the foundation for the proposed $58 million figure, breaking that mammoth number down into six distinct categories: decreased sales, a lost publisher bonus, lost potential royalties, lost profits from hypothetical sequels, the cost of developing a new engine, and the harm to Silicon Knights' reputation. With Lloyd's testimony legally invalidated, Epic's legal team was able to push further, filing a motion that would prevent Silicon Knights from offering any further evidence or arguments regarding its specific losses in the future.

The court approved of the motion, in part, thereby crippling Silicon Knights' ability to monetize its claims with the specificity required to be awarded full damages. So, while the developer hasn't yet lost the case entirely, the court has preemptively quashed any award beyond what the judge deems as "nominal damages (i.e. $1.00)" per claim.

Now that the proceeds from a potential victory wouldn't be able to cover so much as the cost of a potential victory party, it's probably safe to say that this case is finally reaching its end.

UPDATE: A source close to the case has told us that the courts have passed a new ruling in the ongoing legal dispute between Silcon Knights and Epic Games, officially dismissing all of Silicon Knights' claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Now, only disputes regarding breach of contract remain, which must be handled separately from the primary proceedings, and settled by jury. Epic Games' counter claims against Silicon Knights, however, continue to stand.

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