Silicon Knights ordered to destroy Unreal Engine games

Silicon Knights has received a court order to destroy all game code that used the modified Unreal Engine, and recall and destroy any unsold copies. These include Too Human and X-Men: Destiny.

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Silicon Knights has gotten another heaping helping of bad news: a court order to cease production of and destroy all games that use the Unreal Engine. The document, signed by district court judge James C. Dever III on Wednesday, requires that the company destroy all versions of game code that used Unreal Engine 3 by no later than December 10, 2012.

The order (via NeoGAF) explicitly names Too Human, X-Men Destiny, The Box/Ritualist, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom. It also requires Silicon Knights to cease producing or distributing those games, and to recall and destroy any unsold copies. The company is required to destroy any other games using the licensed engine, any versions of Unreal Engine 3 still in its possession, and any information obtained from licensee restricted portions of the Unreal Network. Finally, it owes Epic an additional $4.7 million, a combination of prejudgment interest ($2.3 million), attorney's fees ($2.09 million) and assorted costs ($278,000).

After Silicon Knights modified the Unreal Engine and called it the "Silicon Knights Engine," the company became embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with engine creator Epic Games -- which it subsequently lost to the tune of $4.45 million. The company has suffered two sets of layoffs, one before the legal loss and one after. At last count, only five employees remain, including studio head Denis Dyack.

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  • reply
    November 9, 2012 8:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Silicon Knights ordered to destroy Unreal Engine games.

    Silicon Knights has received a court order to destroy all game code that used the modified Unreal Engine, and recall and destroy any unsold copies. These include Too Human and X-Men: Destiny.

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      November 9, 2012 8:24 AM

      This is so sad. SK have created some great games. It sucks to see them fall apart like this.

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        November 9, 2012 8:25 AM

        again, how many of the key people who created those great games like eternal darkness are still there? It's like still having a hard on for Rare when everyone who was worth something left years ago.

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          November 9, 2012 9:04 AM

          Yeah, I know. I still feel a shiver of excitement when I see the company's name and think back to Eternal Darkness and the Metal Gear Solid remake.

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        November 9, 2012 8:29 AM

        It is because Denis Dyack has slowly gone insane

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          November 9, 2012 8:36 AM

          It's pretty hard to get any other impression from all the news around that company.

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          November 9, 2012 8:52 AM

          Everytime I head his name I cringe. I had a coop interview with him years ago and he was a douchebag.

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          November 10, 2012 1:31 AM

          it wasn't that slow

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      November 9, 2012 8:26 AM

      Why? Didn't they pay epic for their starter engine?

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        November 9, 2012 8:33 AM

        SK implied the engine was incredibly buggy and they didn't get support from Epic in fixing/improving the engine (so it cost SK more to develop their games) as Epic was too busy working on Gears of War series.

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      November 9, 2012 8:31 AM

      That is totally insane. They have to destroy all of their code on games that have like shipped and sold years and years ago. At this point it seems like this is gonna be a black mark against Unreal and Epic also. I mean I can see monetary damages but have them destroy all their hard work seems like kicking 'em while they're down.

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        November 9, 2012 12:57 PM

        ya its kind of a dick move if you ask me..

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          November 9, 2012 3:14 PM

          What? Why would anyone ever pay for an Unreal engine license ever again if they didn't protect themselves?

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      November 9, 2012 8:55 AM

      Holy shit dude. :/

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      November 9, 2012 9:21 AM

      Perhaps the rights (including the code and any future profit) to the games in question should just be awarded to Epic as some sort of a settlement or punative damage. I'd imagine that Dyack would be too proud to just hand something over like that.

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      November 9, 2012 9:22 AM

      ...and nothing of value was lost.

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        November 9, 2012 9:28 AM

        Those who seek to preserve the history of video games beg to differ.

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      November 9, 2012 9:23 AM

      damn :(

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      November 9, 2012 9:23 AM

      Quick! Buy up the copies of the already released games! They are going to be rares like that ET game they destroyed years back. :(

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      November 9, 2012 10:12 AM

      WHAAAAAA????? omfg.

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      November 9, 2012 10:13 AM

      I wonder if this means Too Human co-op will be pulled from LIVE. That'd suck hard. :(

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      November 9, 2012 10:16 AM

      I think I still have an unopened copy of Too Human. now it's an investment!!

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        November 9, 2012 12:11 PM

        just like those back issues of gamepro!

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          November 9, 2012 1:04 PM

          I think I have like 30 issues at my parents house from the two years or so that I subscribed to it back in like 1997

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            November 9, 2012 1:05 PM

            actually it was probably before that because I cancelled the subscription once they stopped making Sega Genesis games and most of the reviews were Playstation, Saturn and N64 games and I didn't have any of those!!

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          November 9, 2012 5:50 PM

          didn't there used to be a shacker who collected those things?

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            November 9, 2012 6:14 PM

            i think that was roushimx who was even scanning them from time to time

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              November 9, 2012 6:32 PM

              I tried to send him like 40 magazines (EGM, Nintendo Power and misc) but it was super expensive and then I moved and it got bumped down my priority list and then roushi quit the shack.

              I still have them collecting dust, too!
              :(

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            November 9, 2012 6:15 PM

            roushimsx and he ragequit the shack for some stupid reason. Miss the guy though.

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          November 10, 2012 12:22 AM

          I still miss my back issues of Nintendo Power. I had the complete set of the first 5-7 years of the magazine, but lord knows where they are now.

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      November 9, 2012 1:02 PM

      "What that means for us is we're really excited because we're going to be able to come out, and the industry is going to rebound and grow, and we'll be one of probably five companies in the world that has any serious business beyond ten years," Dennis Dyack 2008

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      November 9, 2012 3:01 PM

      Man this sucks, Too Human was a cool game.

      I hope the Too Human IP gets sold to a dev shop that can carry it forward, that be cool I fear Silicon Knights may go under :(

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        November 9, 2012 5:43 PM

        Retro.

        Retro + ED IP + Wii U gamepad.

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        November 9, 2012 5:44 PM

        for some reason I completely ignored "Too Human" and thought you said "Eternal Darkness."

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          November 9, 2012 5:46 PM

          :) Eternal Darkness is awesome and what you said --> Retro + ED IP + Wii U gamepad = uh hu

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      November 9, 2012 3:13 PM

      good. Them suing Epic for among other things, the right to own and sell licenses for use of the "Silicon Knights Engine" was insane. "We don't like your engine so we are suing you for the right to call it our own and sell it to other people". WTF?

    • ArB legacy 10 years
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      November 9, 2012 3:16 PM

      They asked for this.

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      November 9, 2012 3:43 PM

      What are the odds the source code will leak before the deadline?

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      November 9, 2012 3:46 PM

      Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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      November 9, 2012 4:20 PM

      The judge must have played X-Men Destiny.

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      November 9, 2012 5:32 PM

      Silicon Pirates!

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      November 9, 2012 5:38 PM

      They should leak the source code to a torrent or something. Can't be destroyed then.

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      November 9, 2012 10:17 PM

      We really need to figure out how to tell the courts to go FUCK THEMSELVES.

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        November 9, 2012 10:40 PM

        Or Silicon Knights needs to figure out how to make a game without STEALING SHIT. :)

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      November 10, 2012 4:34 AM

      This is a setback no doubt about it. If they kept good documents about the design process and other resources tied to the engine they could be alright switching to a new engine. I am sure they probably somewhat separated the game renderer/engine portion of the code base from their game logic.

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        November 10, 2012 9:24 AM

        It sounds like the company is probably dead either way. With five people left, they're likely doing nothing more than wrapping up the finances as best they can.

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      November 10, 2012 10:31 AM

      wow. they lost that case in pretty devastating fashion.

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      November 11, 2012 6:54 AM

      Oh man.. that means no Too Human 2.. so sad, loved the first one.

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