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Hungarian Developers Accuse SCi Of Theft

Hungarian Developers Accuse SCi Of Theft

July 10, 2006 | By David Jenkins

July 10, 2006 | By David Jenkins
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[UPDATE: SCi has issued an official statement regarding the story, suggesting that "there are no specific allegations against the company".]

According to a report in British newspaper The Sunday Times, publisher SCi, owners of Eidos Interactive, are being investigated by police in Hungary over allegations of theft and sabotage by the developers of Battlestations: Midway.

An original title already in development before the acquisition of Eidos, the game has already suffered numerous delays, with the current generation console and Gizmondo versions recently being dropped in favor of the Xbox 360 and PC alone.

The Sunday Times reports that developers MGE and Mithis Entertainment (developers of Nexus: The Jupiter Incident and Joint Task Force for Vivendi) have filed complaints with police claiming that SCi employees broke into offices in Hungary and stole software, including the source code for Battlestations: Midway.

The paper quotes Dr Versitz Piroska, the lawyer acting for MGE and Mithis, as saying: "A number of complaints have been filed with the Budapest police with regard to the illegal removal of software and hardware connected to the Battlestations: Midway, Joint Task Force and other games... [with complaints of] unlawful penetration into Mithis' computers, copying, sabotage and deletion of games' data and infringement of IP rights."

According to The Sunday Times, Budapest police have confirmed the basic details of the story, indicating that two investigations are proceeding on two separate subjects: "on suspicion of breaching of authorship rights law."

SCi does not initially appear to be denying its acquisition of the code, stating in the story that the company acted, "completely professionally and complied with all its contractual obligations. Any allegation to the contrary is denied absolutely". However, Gamasutra has contacted SCi regarding this story, and it is preparing an official statement on the matter, likely to be posted in the near future.


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