Silicon Knights shafted in Epic trial

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Vaseline

Five years ago, following the release of the maligned Xbox 360 exclusive Too Human, developer Silicon Knights instituted legal proceedings against Unreal Engine provider Epic Games.

After 5 years of legal  to-and-fro, the trial is finally over – and sees Silicon Knights get a kick in the teeth.

Silicon Knights had licenced Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 to develop their Nordic dungeon-crawler too-human, a game long in development hell. In 2007 it filed suit against the engine purveyor claiming that not only was the engine faulty – but that Epic was using the licencing money to fund Gears of War’s development instead of improving the engine.

Earlier this month we told you that because of a few procedural screw up, should silicon Knights have won, they’d have stood to make an entire handful of dollars. But it’s gotten even worse for the once fabled developer of one of the finest Gamecube games ever released; Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.

A jury rejected every single one of Silicon Knights’ claims, says CVG,  and further found that the developer “breached the license agreement, misappropriated Epic’s trade secrets, and infringed Epic’s copyrights in the Unreal Engine 3 code.”

The whole thing has backfired on Silicon Knights – because they’ve now been ordered to settle with Epic – to the tune of $4.5 million to their detriment. There’s no word on whether or not the judgement came with a jar of Vaseline.

“We are delighted with the jury’s verdict and all of the hard work done by the Hunton & Williams legal team,” said Jay Andrews, Epic’s General Counsel.

Furthermore, Epic now has 30 days to file for reimbursement of  five year’s worth of attorneys’ fees and costs.

This could end up crippling Silicon Knights – and the real tragedy of that is we might never see a sequel to one of the most psychologically jarring games ever made.

Last Updated: May 31, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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