Crytek Sues Star Citizen For Breach of Contract, Copyright Infringement

Star Citizen faces its biggest legal challenge yet as German studio Crytek takes Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries to court for alleged breach of contract and copyright infringement.

The case was filed in the Central District of California Western Division on December 12, 2017 and runs for 15 pages. After a brief overview, it seems Crytek has some seemingly valid complaints against Star Citizen. The two main complaints seem to be:

  • RSI/ClG only had a license to produce a single title with CryEngine, Star Citizen, but went ahead and started building a second game, Squadron 42, without a license.
  • RSI/CIG removed the CryEngine Logo/Splash Screen from Star Citizen which breaches their license terms with Crytek. A CryEngine license without a mandatory splash screen is available, but costs more.

The filing also includes alleged copyright infringement. Crytek alleges that RSI/CIG did not fulfil their contractual obligations to guard access to the CryEngine code and that it ended up in the hands of people that should not have had access. Crytek was also directly responsible for much of the early promotional work, including trailers, for Star Citizen. By reneging on their agreements and trying to write Crytek out of the project, Crytek is alleging breach of contract.

It should be noted that Star Citizen rather abruptly switched engines to Amazon's Lumberyard last year. However this lawsuit plays out, it will almost certainly force Star Citizen to make public a host of documents and figures which gamers can pour over to see how the project is doing financially. Get the popcorn ready!

Further Reading: Court Filings

  • You'd think with $170m in crowd funding they could buy a license without having to show the logo.

    • Zariarn

      I agree. Did these guys think they're too big to pay?

    • Joel Michael Ellis

      Well, apparently they did pay for the license, and they did show the logo while they were using it.

  • ivan_

    This is embarrassing for such a heavily funded game, crowdfunded or not. Star Citizen just kept getting shadier as time passed, demos show little innovation and the industry is catching up quality-wise. I used to have high hopes for the game but now I hope a big AAA dev comes by and makes something better than Star Citizen in every possible way. I hope the community leaves Star Citizen for that AAA title, whatever it may be, but they're likely too stubborn to admit Star Citizen got funded way more than they deserved/needed for the progress/eventual product delivered.