Epic Games has won its courtroom battle with Too Human developer Silicon Knights, following a jury’s verdict in a North Carolina court.
Epic said in a statement: “The jury rejected Silicon Knights’ claim that Epic breached its Unreal Engine 3 license agreement.” The decision has ended a five year legal battle between the two companies which began after Silicon Knights filed against Epic for apparently breaching the Unreal Engine agreement. They claimed that Epic supplied them with an unfinished engine and chose to keep all updates for themselves to use in the Gears of War franchise.
The ruling means that Silicon now has to pay the sum of $4.45 million to Epic directly. It’s unknown at this time how damaging this will be to Silicon Knights as a company, but considering that it has already shed the majority of its workforce, and major investors have pulled out, it’s not looking good.
There’s also the company’s reputation to consider. As a result of the ruling, Silicon is now judged to have breached the Unreal Engine agreement, revealed Epic’s trade secrets and infringed upon copyright of the Unreal Engine code. It’s going to be hard to find a new publisher and engine supplier with all these issues.