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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #11
Kilde
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

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Originally Posted by Phopojijo View Post
If they're sabotaging their licensees -- why do more and more keep piling on, including rival engine makers, and most of them buy recurring licenses?
If their product is not fulfilling the operations and tasks as advertised and told then I can see this being a legit case. I think it would suck to purchase a license for an engine and then realize it is not working as told it was to work and then be forced to start creating your own engine because of its shortcomings.

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It then asks for the following to be ruled: "(1) the Agreement between Epic and Silicon Knights for a license to the Engine is null and void; (2) Silicon Knights owes no obligations to Epic under any purported agreement by Silicon Knights to license the Engine; (3)
Silicon Knights is not required to use the Engine in developing any current or future games; (4) Silicon Knights may alter the Engine without restriction; (5) Silicon Knights is under no obligation to disclose or share any alterations Silicon Knights makes or causes to be made to the Engine with anyone, including Epic."

It continues: "(6) Silicon Knights owes no monetary or other obligations to Epic and/or any of its business partners associated with the agreement to license the Engine; (7) the game engine developed by Silicon Knights is totally independent of the Unreal Engine 3 and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights, or, alternatively, the game engine developed by Silicon Knights constitutes an “Enhancement” under the terms of the Agreement, and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights under the terms of that Agreement; and (8) Silicon Knights owes no obligations, financial or otherwise, to Epic in connection with and/or related to the Silicon Knights Engine."
The way I see it SK is legitimately screwed if they had a contract with Epic to pay a certain fee and in return have an engine that works to certain specifications and have tech support along the way and then end up having to waste even more money on man hours to fix the faults of the engine that Epic is obligated to do. And if their payment was used to fund the development of Gears and not the development of an engine (that if I recall correctly took much longer to get the final version out than expected due to Epic's work on Gears) then they pretty much invested in the game and not the engine. And if that is true SK and the other developers that were harmed by their shortcomings deserve a portion of the Gear's profit since they were deceived to invest into the game and not the engine like they actually thought.

And just because there are plenty of other games out that work fine with the engine is not a defense for Epic. What matters is not if the engine produces a game that sells well, what matters is whether or not the engine is able to complete the tasks as advertised it would. I think that some of the SK claims are extreme, but if they have had to put so much time into the engine to modify to fit the needs Epic advertised it would meet, then they should be able to use the engine for free and have free reign to manipulate as they see necessary to finish their game.

I think this case has little to do with the skills quality of game produced by either developer. The key point is whether or not Epic misled SK to turn a quick profit to fund Gears instead of finishing and tweaking the engine as they advertised it would function.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

Actually my point was... if it was so bad for their licensees... not why is there so many of them... why do most of the ones they have... license for more and more games. If it was so bad, wouldn't they have NOT renewed their contracts?
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Old July 20th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

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Originally Posted by Phopojijo View Post
Actually my point was... if it was so bad for their licensees... not why is there so many of them... why do most of the ones they have... license for more and more games. If it was so bad, wouldn't they have NOT renewed their contracts?
correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a lot of the game also written in Unreal script, so if these big companies didn't like it, then wouldn't they have re-write a lot of their game on top of creating a new engine. Maybe it's just too late to turn back for them, and they have to work with what they have.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

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correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a lot of the game also written in Unreal script, so if these big companies didn't like it, then wouldn't they have re-write a lot of their game on top of creating a new engine. Maybe it's just too late to turn back for them, and they have to work with what they have.
Nah, its true a lot of the game is written in unrealscript. The lawsuit, however, is based on rendering-aspects of the engine (native code).

Silicon Knights is claiming, mostly, that modifications done to the engine would not be supported by Epic.

Uhm, yea.

If I dumped an Audi Sport Quattro engine into a Civic Spoon, Honda won't support my car either o.o How can a team of 70-odd people support 80+ development houses each with their own code base every time an issue arises and still make their own games.

That being said -- "lack of support" is vague. I'm curious about the specifics.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

The other thing that makes me curious is the

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(7) the game engine developed by Silicon Knights is totally independent of the Unreal Engine 3 and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights, or, alternatively, the game engine developed by Silicon Knights constitutes an “Enhancement” under the terms of the Agreement, and therefore is the sole property of Silicon Knights under the terms of that Agreement
Does Epic take the improvements and enhancements from their customers and then use their work to sell to other licensees? If so I see a major issue of intellectual property if Epic has been stealing/profiting off the works of their clients.

That clause of their legal claim makes it sound like Epic wants ownership of the modifications SK made to make the engine work to their liking. That's like saying Valve should be able to own every single half-life mod, not the actual independent dev. teams that created the mods.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

No.

They're saying when they're done replacing the code that Epic wrote -- they're allowed to resell it and own it in full.

If you make an enhancement (IPP program) you own the enhancement... but you cannot sell the *whole engine* with your enhancement without giving Epic a cut (since you're not just selling your own code, but also Epic's code).
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Old July 21st, 2007, 03:40 AM   #17
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

i guess whether they can prove that epic actually did use the money to finance gears or not is a factor in deciding the verdict.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 03:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carmack of iD Software @ Slashdot
I was always somewhat hesitant about broad licensing because I feared something exactly like this, where a developer thinks they see something in an engine, but it doesn't turn out the way they expected, and they sue. It is possible that explicit promises were made and broken, but it is also possible that the licensee just failed for the same reasons that most game development project fail, and is looking for a scapegoat. Game development is hard, engine license or no engine license.
Damn I knew I liked that dude. Why can't most game developers be this down-to-earth?

No offense botman
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Old July 21st, 2007, 11:16 AM   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #19
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Default Re: Epic lawsuit... mind the pun.

Carmack's right. Sometimes people promise more than they can deliver. And sometimes even if you deliver everything you promise some people just don't have the ability to make things work the way they envisioned. Sometimes it's just a case of expecting too much.

I tend to always expect the worst case and find that I'm pleasantly surprised when things work out better than I expected. It's good to set your sights high and hope for the best case, but at the same time, you should plan for the worst case.

Game development is hard. You have to be a master of many disciplines, a jack of all trades. You have to understand the limitations of the tools you are using and be willing to make compromises and sacrifices. If you aren't willing to do that, you will never be satisfied with the results.

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Last edited by botman; July 21st, 2007 at 11:22 AM.
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