Silicon Knights has been ordered to pay Epic Games more than $9 million dollars and destroy all unsold copies of its recent games. The ruling, reported by Gamasutra, came about after Silicon Knights’ allegations in 2007 that Epic was deliberately sabotaging other developers’ efforts to use its Unreal Engine 3. To say the beleaguered independent studio’s claims backfired would be a gentle way of putting it.
A North Carolina district judge ruled in favor of Epic Games’ countersuit, finding that Silicon Knights “repeatedly and deliberately copied significant portions of Epic Games’s code containing trade secrets” to produce its own game engine, which it used for Too Human and X-Men Destiny. The judge ordered Silicon Knights to purge all offending code from its current engine, but the ruling didn’t stop there.
Silicon Knights must recall and destroy all unsold copies of the two games, as well as all code for previously unannounced titles The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom. If you’ve ever been tempted to try out Too Human as a case study in unfulfilled potential, now’s the time.
Silicon Knights has until December 21 to pay the $9.2 million (roughly half for damages and half covering Epic’s legal costs) and comply with the rest of the instructions.