Thursday, August 9, 2007

Epic Wants Silicon Knights to Pay "in excess of $650,000"

All out assault from Epic here, they believe Silicon Knights is simply trying to get a quick cash back and even perhaps planning to license off its so-called 'UE3-Derived' 'Silicon Knights Engine'.
In a counter claim Epic says that Silicon Knights case carries 'no factual merit' and that the license Silicon Knights had bought was given at a 'substantial discount' since Silicon Knights had agreed to use UE3 in all their upcoming Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC titles (not the time to get into future Silicon Knights games).

It gets even messier, Epic stated that,

"This lawsuit is a cynical effort by SK to unlawfully enrich itself at the expense of Epic Games... After having exploited Epic's intellectual property to its advantage, SK now seeks to renege on its payment obligations under the License Agreement. It is SK, not Epic, that has engaged in deceit, infringement of Epic's intellectual property rights, breach of contract and unfair business practices."

Despite not fully understanding the legalities of the situation it is quite easy to see that Epic makes a very good point when saying that sabotaging Silicon Knights games would be counter productive to Epic because part of the license agreement includes royalties for the number of titles Silicon Knights sells,

"Moreover, SK's criticism of Epic makes no sense on its face. SK contends that Epic sabotaged SK's ability to develop video games with Epic's software engine. Epic's incentive, however, is for SK to develop as many successful games as possible with Epic's software engine... The more successful SK is, the more Epic receives... In short, SK's lawsuit is a pretense... The court should not countenance SK's conduct and should dismiss the complaint."

Silicon Knights laywer Chris Holland responded to Epics claims by essentially saying 'Epics claims have no merit'. In fact that was his only counter to questions of whether or not Silicon Knights was using UE3 code (essentially stealing it) for their own gain. Not too reassuring given the fact Silicon Knights has had full access to the UE3 engine code, something that has taken Epic games many years to create that Silicon Knights seems to have managed to have done in a fraction of the time.

It is kind of difficult drawing anything with substance besides opinions from Hollands statements,
"We believe strongly that our claims in our complaint will prevail and the damages Silicon Knights has suffered in connection with its original complaint are vastly more, millions of dollars more than what Epic claims its damages are in its counterclaim. They've set forth $650,000 and our claims will dwarf that substantially."

Right now Holland seems to be just throwing light jabs at Epic, well for Silicon Knights sake otherwise they might need a new lawyer...

VIA GameDaily

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