Crytek and Cloud Imperium may hold a lot of emotional weight when you hear them mentioned.
This lawsuit, filed in USA 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.
"We are aware of the Crytek complaint having been filed in the US District Court", Cloud Imperium Games said in a statement.
That, Crytek claims, was in breach of its original contract with CIG, claiming that promises to promote Cryengine have been disrupted by the engine switch.
In a blog post following that transition, RSI's Chris Roberts explained that Lumberyard was essentially a more promising fork of an earlier CryEngine build that fit better as a base for "StarEngine", his name for the "heavily modified" version of CryEngine the developers were then using. Also in the lawsuit is a claim by Crytek that its terms with Cloud Imperium specified that the Star Citizen studio would be required to send to Crytek a list of bug fixes and optimizations that it made to the CryEngine source code. Problem is Crytek are claiming that they aren't telling the truth.
This agreement also extended to only one game, too, so when CIG announced the Squadron 42 spin-off, which is going to be available as its own game, Crytek says the contract has been broken.
The German firm helped CIG and RSI with the Star Citizen Kickstarter promotional campaign in 2012 before the firms signed a Game License agreement to use Crytek's CryEngine technology.
Crytek say in the complaint that they have 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's lawsuit alleges breach of contract and copyright infringement, and seeks direct damages that it believes "substantially" exceed $75,000, along with the usual blend of punitive damages, disgorgements, and injunctions. In a response to Polygon, a representative from the company states that Crytek's lawsuit is meritless, and that they are willing to go to court to defend their stance. CIG has yet to respond to a request for additional comment from Ars Technica.
You know, I think I will always be thankful for putting my money behind Star Citizen.