As the five-year court case between Epic Games and “Too Human” developer Silicon Knights winds down, it looks like the Denis Dyack’s company’s future is in doubt. After having to pay out $4.5 million back in May (and another $4.7 million in court fees) for breach of the Unreal licensing agreement, Silicon Knights will now have to destroy all code which used Epic’s engine as well as initiating a complete recall of all unsold copies of “Too Human” and “X-Men: Destiny.”
Keep in mind, this all stemmed from a suit Dyack brought against Epic, alleging insufficient support for the Unreal Engine while Silicon Knights was developing the action-RPG “Too Human.” Epic countersued, maintaining that Silicon Knights was breaching the terms of the original licensing agreement for the code, accusing the Canadian developer of effectively re-compiling Unreal in their own proprietary engine.
In the judgement, handed down in a North Carolina court by District Judge James Dever, Silicon Knights must not only initiate the recall, but stop any active production which uses parts of Epic’s code. Additionally, they must allow Epic access to Silicon Knight computers and servers to check that Unreal code has been duly wiped away. The judge has also ordered that Silicon Knight document any projects that might potentially use any of Epic’s code so they can likewise be destroyed.
This can’t mean well for what remains of Silicon Knights, which is alleged to have only five active employees right now including founder Denis Dyack. While it’s difficult to imagine the company pulling out of its current dire straights, Dyack is a smart guy who will hopefully be able to put the debacle of the last few years behind him and get back to making games.
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