Development of Star Citizen began in 2012 and since then it has raised more than $170m (£126m) in crowdsourced funds from fans keen to play the ambitious space trading and combat game.
The company's complaints are manifold, and most hinge around Cloud Imperium's switch from Cryengine to Amazon's Lumberyard in the sprawling, in-development space epic. However, it claims that Freyermuth had also previously represented Crytek in similar negotiations and 'had confidential information about Crytek's licensing practices that would unfairly advantage [CIG].
So goes the statement from CIG, who has indeed switched engines.
The former point was a "critical component" of the licensing agreement, Crytek said.
Crytek was further incensed by CIG co-founder Chris Roberts publicly stating that "we don't call [the video game engine] CryEngine anymore, we call it Star Engine". Additionally, Crytek is seeking an injunction against CIG and RSI that would prevent the developers from using, possessing, or infringing on Crytek's copyrights.
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One of the complaints is that Cloud Imperium Games is using Lumberyard from Amazon, based on CryEngine.
This lawsuit, filed in US district court in California, has the potential to disrupt development of a game that is already more than five years in development and has yet to deliver on many promises to its backers. The game license agreement signed between Crytek and the Star Citizen developers allegedly required the exclusive use of CryEngine for the game's development, and also for the developers to prominently display Crytek's trademarks and copyright notices in Star Citizen and marketing material created around the game.
It will be interesting to see whether Cloud Imperium and Crytek will settle things out of court or not. "This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter".
Yet, during a livestream on December 16, 2015, CIG announced that Squadron 42, the single-player campaign of Star Citizen, was going to be sold separately. Moreover, the company has removed all of Crytek's logos, which is another breach of contract.
Yes, Crytek is suing RSI for not making the current version of the CryEngine (or what's left of it) that can generate entire galaxies a complete version of the engine for Crytek to use.