The Epic/Silicon Knights Slapfight Continues Unabated

Slapfight.. its a classic.

Ah, I love the smell of litigation in the morning. Smells like… lawyers.
With a smattering of hookers. And… yes, just a slight hint, of coke. Mmmm.

GameDailyBIZ is dutifully running back and forth between the two camps collecting statements. The latest is that Epic is (fairly predictably) counter-suing Silicon Knights:

Following Mark Rein’s new statement and Epic Games’ counterclaim GameDaily BIZ spoke with Silicon Knights’ attorney, Christopher T. Holland, an Equity Partner at Krieg, Keller, Sloan, Reilley & Roman. Unsurprisingly, Silicon Knights stands firm in its belief that Epic is at fault.

“We don’t think Epic’s counterclaim has any merit,” Holland told us. “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.”

GameDaily BIZ has been in contact with Silicon Knights’ attorney, Chris Holland, who informed us that Silicon Knights will stand its ground. Holland says the counterclaim from Epic is completely without merit and development on Too Human has not been affected. In fact, SK has created a “better” engine for the game as a result.

So if you haven’t been keeping score at home, here is an abridged (gamez0r3d, if you will) translation of the argument so far:

S|<: YUO ASS YOU KEPT L33T CODE 4 yorself im totaly SOOING you
EP1Ç: WTF what are you on about LOL
S|<: you guyz totally kept th bestest cod3z 4 Gears, yor game
looks waaaaay better. [email protected] up dooz, here it comez
[Silicon Knights has delivered a lawsuit]
EP1Ç: OMG you dicks
S|<: w3 tossed your shitty eng1n3 like [email protected] SALAD
EP1Ç: f00k you guyz I still see code in ther, w3 didn’t
screw yuo
S|<: ya yuo did
EP1Ç: th1s is f00kd, w3 put all our codez on th3 devserver
you ignorant fuks
S|<: then whys or Spae Vikingz game look so sh1t
EP1Ç: cuz yuo suck? its OK, lern to play
[Epic has countersued Silicon Knights]
S|<: n00000 FUCKOFF F F F
EP1Ç: 0ur lawb0tz wil [email protected] cockpunch you bitches you
jus watch
S:<: f00k yuo or N#W l33t engin iz waaaaay beter YUO watch

I’m actually really surprised at how vocal SK is being about this issue – they are definitely not following the usual “no statement at this time, suit ongoing” line that one would expect. At first I thought that Dennis Dyack was just ignoring his lawyers, but no – his lawyers are the ones talking trash now. And I have no idea how Epic thinks it can claim copyright infringement on a game that is unreleased, but who the hell knows how these things work. It truly is a complicated, messy situation.

Why should we care? It’s all about that precious middleware. Next-gen games are extremely difficult to put together; a smaller team has virtually no hope in hell of competing with the likes of Halo without a RenderWare or an Unreal Engine to take some of the heavy lifting off. And with so many games using Epic’s engine, this suit really does threaten to split many developers into separate camps. Not a good thing. It means game delays, and distraction for developers on both sides.

One wonders how the Epic deal with Sony factors into this. They announced at E3 that they would be optimizing the UT engine for the PS3 platform. Sony has a wide-reaching code sharing arrangement in place for all of the PlayStation 3 developers – they literally need to share everything, as the thing is so bloody hard to optimize. That kind of climate goes a long way to reducing the sort of feces-flinging we’re seeing now on the Microsoft side of the yard.


One response to “The Epic/Silicon Knights Slapfight Continues Unabated”

  1. […] An action RPG Space-Opera from the creators of Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, etc. Again, that’s all you need to say to me. “The most non-linear game we’ve ever made” helps to. From the glimpses I’ve seen so far, this game looks to deliver in spades everything Advent Rising never was, and a whole lot more. Too Human (Well, maybe) […]

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