Epic 'Defrauded' Developers with Unreal Engine, Says Silicon Knights

By Aaron Linde, Aug 18, 2008 3:50pm PDT Silicon Knights president and founder Denis Dyack commented on the legal struggle between the Too Human (360) and Unreal Engine purveyors Epic Games, expressing optimism that "justice will be done" in the ongoing court battle.

"The trial is proceeding," Dyack told Develop. "We feel really good about our claims, and we're hopeful that justice will be done. We all feel really strongly that they have defrauded us, and a major portion of the industry."

The dispute centers around Silicon Knights' claim that Epic held off on delivering promised features in its Unreal Engine 3 middleware in order to focus on its own UE3-powered effort, Gears of War (PC, 360).

The case went to trial following the denial of Epic's filing to dismiss the suit, and multiple licensees of the software have since been served with subpoenas in an effort to obtain evidence for the court battle.

"The Too Human you see today only really started development when [Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GCN)] was completed," Dyack explained. "So it's been a four-year development cycle and it would have been out even quicker, but we had to re-write the engine because of all the Epic stuff."

The first of a planned trilogy, the oft-delayed Too Human will finally reach retailers this coming Wednesday.

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  • Basically SK is right. Epic has been pushing things a bit too much in the "overpromising" area.

    It's a bit dicy to sell your tech to competitors while you still have your own high profile games to get out. Where do you decide to draw the line between game specific code and engine code? I mean how do you decide if "John" should go work on engine code to benefit the engine, or if he should go work on code for the game? Epic seems to have gone for the latter option a bit too often which leaves licensees with crappy unfinished tech.

    We have shared tech in house, and we occasionally license it to other studios, but we don't whore ourselves out to everyone with spare change for this very reason. If we can't support a licensee (due to lack of resources, or being busy with our own games etc.) then they won't get a license.