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Epic Games prevails as Silicon Knights appeals engine tech case
Epic Games prevails as Silicon Knights appeals engine tech case
January 10, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

In a judgment made on January 6, The United States Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of the lower court, which in November 2012 ordered Silicon Knights to pay Epic Games $9.2 million in damages and destroy its games and engine technology. This came after Silicon Knights brought suit against Epic in 2007.

To briefly summarize the battle, Silicon Knights asserted that Epic failed to provide the studio a functioning version of its Unreal Engine technology for development of its Microsoft-published Too Human, which was released in 2008. Epic countersued, alleging that Silicon Knights incorporated Epic's technology in its in-house engine.

At trial, Silicon Knights arguments all failed; Epic was awarded $4.5 million, which ballooned to $9.2 million after the company was also awarded $4.7 million in legal costs by the court.

Silicon Knights' lawyers advanced several arguments in the recent appeal, but none of them made an impact on the Court of Appeals, which dismisses them in no uncertain terms in its judgment.

The question of whether Epic will be paid hangs in the air, however, as it is not at all clear that Silicon Knights is a going concern. Layoffs in 2011 and 2012, drastically reduced its staff, which ultimately dwindled to a few by 2013, Polygon reports. Moreover, its founder Denis Dyack moved to a new studio, Precursor Games -- whose only project has already gone on hiatus after repeated failures to fund successfully.

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Mike Murray
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I'm surprised Silicon Knights is still standing, but I suspect that will change soon. As for Dyack, apparently he's not a very nice man and his reputation is low thanks to his company not producing anything substantial since Eternal Darkness. I think he's pretty much done in this industry.

Jay Jay
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The problem is that everyone assumes he's not a nice man from the things they read online from anonymous sources like the Kotaku article. He actually made a really good video explaining some of what happened with SK on YouTube.

Merc Hoffner
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You can't squeeze blood from a stone.

Daneel Filimonov
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It is a poor workman who blames his tools. Would have been less costly for SK to just keep their mouth closed, it seems.

Lee Thompson
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While I think the judgment on Silicon Knights was rather brutal, I think SK made some rather poor decisions. I even had bought and tried to enjoy "Too Human" but found a buggy/unbalanced/not fun to play game (until an update it even would force you to watch a long cutscene whenever you died, no skip option).

In the long run, I think SK tried to blame Epic for it's games' poor sales/reception (and apparently did some shady things with the code) and, at the end of the day, they got what they deserved.

Michael Joseph
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Justice 4 Sale!*

Low Low Low $750,000.00 a year!**

*Satisfaction not guaranteed.
**both kidneys accepted in lieu of payment