Crytek Files Lawsuit Against Star Citizen Devs Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries

German company Crytek has filed a lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the developers behind Chris Roberts’ ever-growing and still-in-development MMO Star Citizen.

The lawsuit was discovered via the California Central District Court, where Crytek alleges that CIG has infringed on their copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets, like the stuff found in Squadron 42, their single-player game set in the same universe as the MMO.

“Crytek has not been compensated for Defendants’ unlicensed use of Crytek technology in the Squadron 42 game, and has been substantially harmed by being deprived of that compensation, which would ordinarily include a substantial up-front payment as well as a substantial royalty on game sales,” Crytek argues.

Crytek is also accusing CIG of deleting Crytek logos in marketing materials and splash screens from around the same time period that studio boss Chris Roberts (pictured above) started calling their engine Star Engine and not CryEngine, which is also allegedly a breach of the original licensing agreement.

Furthermore, Crytek is demanding “all direct damages (estimated to be in excess of $75,000), indirect damages, consequential damages (including lost profits), special damages, costs, fees, and expenses incurred by reason of Defendants’ breach of contract and copyright infringement”, as well as a cut of the profit, punitive damages, and a permanent injunction against CIG using CryEngine.

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Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

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  1. DarkChaplain
    December 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Apparently they also had an agreement with CIG about CIG providing engine bugfixes and performance updates to Crytek on a regular basis, and haven’t done so once since 2012, despite multiple reminders and stern letters. They agreed to help with optimization of the engine and nothing came off it. Pretty clear breach of contract, that.

  2. OldPalpy
    December 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    They sound pretty fucked unless this was just a mode built into the game, calling it Star Engine is shady as fuck glad that Crytek has a clause to prevent things like Bethesda’s “creation engine” where it’s just there to obfuscate the fact it’s just gamebryo.

  3. sanic
    December 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    The lawsuit will only convince people to give them more money for scam citizen.

  4. 2501
    December 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Man this game just keeps on giving doesn’t it?

  5. RPG
    December 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Incoming crowd-funding initiative to cover legal fees.

  6. PaRaLLaXTHeTiCS
    December 14, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Star Citizen is pure entertainment. You don’t even have to play it.

  7. RichardGristle
    December 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    This is the apparent response, by the way

    “We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court. CIG hasn’t used the CryEngine for quite some time since we switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard. This is a meritless lawsuit that we will defend vigorously against, including recovering from Crytek any costs incurred in this matter.”

  8. Exien
    December 14, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Crytek is just a joke nowdays. After Crysis 1 and Warhead they shifted to console focus forgetting the the original story and gameplay what made Crysis 1 so good. Then they tried with Free2Play Warface because that was the future (hahaha) didn’t work for them.

    Now they make some very small VR games that have no impact and what they want to do now their own Bitcoins (hahaha). Today their are almost completty broke with only 50 people left all the other Studios and People are either shut down or left the company.

    In the meantime RSI is recruiting all the people who worked on the Crytek Engine, because Crytek didn’t paid them their salary and didn’t bring the needed updates for the CryEngine, after that they even needed to be rescued by Amazon by selling off their CryEngine. It’s ironic that Star Citizen is useing the Amazon Engine now with all the old Devs from Crytek.

  9. s_fnx
    December 14, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t think anyone will ever play it.

  10. Feniks
    December 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Cool something is finally coming out! Its a subpoena and not a game but beggars can’t be choosers.

  11. Feniks
    December 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm


  12. Casey
    December 14, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Welp, this is the excuse Roberts has been waiting for. Now when the game turns out to not be much of anything, they can whine “We were sued!”

  13. UnpluggedBeta
    December 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    That would be a shame: I’ve been making fun of the game since the first round of schenanigans, but the latest builds are looking very noice.

  14. UnpluggedBeta
    December 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Ah, the engine switch explains a lot of why the game is suddenly looking good after an aeon of looking like ass and development going nowhere.

  15. No_Good_Names_Ever
    December 14, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Has Crytek made any real money in recent years to the point of not paying their employees? Who do they have as their lawyer?

  16. Shadowed Heart
    Shadowed Heart
    December 14, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    It’s like when an artist submits their art to deviantART and then someone traces over it, and submits it to dA as their own.

    Plagiarism, ladies and gents.

  17. Alex Drake
    Alex Drake
    December 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    You do realize that if their claims are true it hardly matters, right? Saying they’re in money trouble is not an argument if they actually are in the right suing

  18. Sebastian Mikulec
    Sebastian Mikulec
    December 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    I’m just here to praise the terrific screen grab.

  19. Zombie_Barioth
    December 15, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Except that the creation engine isn’t just gamebryo. Its based on it yes, but then to say its the same thing is like saying you are your parents, grandparents, or whatever. Its basically an amalgamation of two engines actually, the modified gamebryo and Havok.

    So Bethesda made a chimera and the Star Citizen devs just plagiarized somebody else’s work.

  20. Neojames82
    December 15, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Seems this game is more entertaining in the news it produces than actually playing it.

  21. No_Good_Names_Ever
    December 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I don’t know, if the Star Citizen people can get donations towards a good lawyer; even if they’re rotten, they can end up coming out smelling like daisies.

  22. Malcolm_Ecks
    December 15, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    “We’re being sued. Now on top of land plots, we’re selling space plots. Buy up fuckers.” -Chris Roberts, some intellectual.

  23. Malcolm_Ecks
    December 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I mean.. we just saw Silicon Knights get put into the corporate casket for using a modified version of Unreal Engine 3.

  24. Zombie_Barioth
    December 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Probably without permission/against their TOS, which is exactly the issue here.

    Just because one company got caught doing something doesn’t mean everybody is guilty of doing the same.

    Besides, Bethesd has been using iterations of their engine since Morrowind, and Zenimax definitely doesn’t play around.

    Obviously they’ve got things sorted out.

  25. OldPalpy
    December 16, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Bethesda also did that because of the hatred of their use of Gamebyro regardless of what they modified it was ultimately a PR move.

  26. Cy
    December 16, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Oh look, more shady shit from the developer of Scam Citizen. I’m so surprised.

  27. Varg Wetterskog
    Varg Wetterskog
    December 16, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    $75,000? I smell another round of crowdfunding coming!

  28. Zombie_Barioth
    December 17, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I seriously doubt that’s the case, game studios don’t choose an engine based on PR.

    Most people don’t even know much less care what engine a game is running on.

    Do you have proof, or is it merely a hunch?

  29. Doom Video Vault
    Doom Video Vault
    December 18, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Sham Citizen. I hear nothing but negative news about this game time and time again.