Mark Rein, Vice President at Epic Games, has revealed that one of its Unreal Engine 3 licensees, Silicon Knights, has filed a lawsuit against the engine's creator.
Rein’s statement didn’t reveal any specifics but he said that “We believe the claims against us are unfounded and without merit and we intend to fully defend against them.” He then later added that “we just wanted to share the news directly before the rumour mill starts churning.”
Gamasutra managed to get hold of the lawsuit, which alleges “rather than provide support to Silicon Knights and Epic’s other many licensees of the Engine, Epic intentionally and wrongfully has used the fees from those licenses to launch its own game to widespread commercial success while simultaneously sabotaging efforts by Silicon Knights and others to develop their own video games.”
The filing later alleges that Epic failed to provide Silicon Knights with a final development kit on time – in fact, Silicon Knights claims that it didn’t receive a functional version of Unreal Engine 3 until November 2006, some eight months later than originally agreed.
Silicon Knights had originally licensed Unreal Engine 3 for use in its upcoming Xbox 360 title, Too Human, but according to the filing Silicon Knights was forced to “embark on the time and resource intensive task of writing its own game engine, the very task it had hoped to avoid by entering into the Agreement with Epic.”
You can read the full rundown of what’s in the legal document here
, and drop your thoughts on the matter in the forums