Crytek is suing Star Citizen developers Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) for breaking contract between the two companies. The lawsuit, filed in California, will ask a jury to determine the the cost of damages.
Throughout the development of Star Citizen, a crowdfunded game that has raised almost $200 million since a successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign, CIG used Crytek's own CryEngine to build the game. In addition, the partnership between the two companies included Crytek's involvement in Star Citizen's marketing.
Over time Crytek bled employees, who left to work for CIG in Germany, and the company itself struggled to pay its employees. In 2016 CIG switched development of Star Citizen from CryEngine to Amazon's Lumberyard. Funny enough Lumberyard is itself based on the CryEngine and purchased from Crytek.
Crytek claims that CIG broke its promise to use the CryEngine platform exclusively for development, promote the platform from within the game, collaborate with Crytek on CryEngine development, and to ensure the protection of Crytek's intellectual property.
"[CIG] utterly failed to follow through on those promises, and their actions and omissions constitutes breaches of contract and copyright infringement and have caused substantial harm to Crytek[,]" says part of the lawsuit.
Crytek is claiming that CIG (and Roberts Space Industries, also founded by CIG founder Chris Roberts) is still using code that from CryEngine 3 despite the move to Lumberyard. The lawsuit says that CIG removed the CryEngine logo without permission, and that since Star Citizen and the standalone Squadron 42 game both use the same code, the breach of contract is twofold.
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.