Crytek says it offered the developers "a below-market license rate" on CryEngine and "invested significant time and expense in creating impressive demonstrations and proofs-of-concept" to help with the game's initial crowdfunding campaign in exchange for this exclusivity deal.
Crytek, the developer behind the famed CryEngine and games like Crysis, Ryse: Son of Rome and the upcoming Hunt: Showdown, is suing Cloud Imperium Games, the developer of crowd-sourced mega-title, Star Citizen.
"Shortly thereafter, Defendants removed Crytek trademarks and copyright notices from the Star Citizen video game and related marketing materials in breach of the GLA". This is likely to be a long process so fans of Star Citizen or Crytek might need to buckle up for the bumpy ride.
The complaint alleges that CIG used Crytek's engine for another game (the standalone module Squadron 42), failed to collaborate, and shared Crytek's code with other parties, breaking confidentiality agreements. Crytek also wants a "permanent injunction" against Cloud Imperium that would prevent the company from using any of Crytek's copyrighted work. CIG announced in early 2016 that Squadron 42 will be available for purchase separately from Star Citizen, which in Crytek's opinion denotes it as a separate game. But it also opens the door to some interesting and potentially awkward questions.
"We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court", a spokesman for RSI and Cloud Imperium told gaming news site Gamasutra.
Why Crytek wouldn't request his recusal isn't clear, but that's not the only implication it makes about getting hosed in the agreement: Its side of the negotiations were handled by Carl Jones-who later left Crytek to join Cloud Imperium.
RSI's decision to switch from CryEngine to a separate game development system from Amazon, called Lumberyard, also allegedly breaks contractual agreements between the two firms, it claimed.
In response to the lawsuit, CIG spokespeople have called the lawsuit "meritless" and will defend against Crytek's lawsuit and, if possible, will seek to recover any costs from the case.