It’s likely that almost everyone who has an interest in space combat and trading games in the vein of Elite and Wing Commander has heard of Star Citizen, an enormously ambitious game which is being developed by Cloud Imperium Games (CIG for short).
Star Citizen is also the top crowdfunded video game to date, having raised a whooping $176 million US dollars to date, with thousands of backers pledging money to the project which is helmed by industry veteran Chris Roberts.
The game has been controversial, though, as it’s been in development since 2012 with no release date given yet, although it’s cinematic single player spin-off, which features A-list actors like Mark Hamill, was scheduled to launch in late 2016 but has since been postponed and has no firm release date either.
Also, some of the ways in which CIG has continued to obtain support for the game (such as selling virtual land on the game’s worlds) have been subject to criticism.
Another controversy arose last December when Crytek sued CIG for its use of its CryEngine technology in the game. Crytek, a Germany-based developer which is behind top games like Crysis and the original Far Cry, claims Cloud Imperium violated several terms of the license agreement.
However, Roberts’ company recently filed a motion requesting to have the lawsuit dismissed, as reported on gamesindustry.biz. And CIG sure is blunt in the first line of this motion, stating that “this action never should have been filed”, and that Crytek’s lawsuit just seeks “loud publicity”.
Cloud Imperium also included a copy of their game license agreement with Crytek in order to prove their points, although funnily enough, the agreement refers to the game as “Space Citizen” rather than Star Citizen.
The motion also points out the way in which Crytek is allegedly twisting and bending the facts in their lawsuit, in particular regarding CIG’s rights to use their engine in their game. This is because the agreement features the word “exclusively” with regard to CryEngine, which according to Crytek means CIG was required to use it in Star Citizen, while the company switched to Amazon’s Lumberyard engine in December 2016.
Also, the lawsuit raises the issue of former Crytek developer Ortwin Freyermuth (who now works for CIG) being involved in the CryEngine negotiations, stating there was a conflict of interest there, although CIG claims Crytek did consent to this in writing, though.
Here’s hoping, though, that Crytek’s lawsuit does not get in the way of Star Citizen’s development, and that the game manages to hit a new development milestone soon (the latest alpha version is still in the works).
If one thing is clear, though, is that Star Citizen still continues to be a crowdfunded success, having raised almost $35 million last year, and it surely would be a great thing for its backers if it does turn out to be the fantastic space combat game everyone is hoping for when it’s released at a future time.