Courtroom Setback In Epic Fight ‘Tis A Flesh Wound, Says Silicon Knights

Courtroom Setback In Epic Fight ‘Tis A Flesh Wound, Says Silicon Knights

Much has been made of a recent ruling adverse to Silicon Knights in its long-running lawsuit with Epic Games, the Gears of War maker whose Unreal Engine was to have been the guts of 2008 flop Too Human. A judge tossed out an expert witness for Silicon Knights; he was going to give his estimates of the losses Silicon Knights suffered when its deal with Epic went in the crapper.

Denis Dyack, the combative founder and president of of Silicon Knights, emailed Kotaku earlier on Wednesday to say that this in no way represents the end of the legal action, which he expects to win against Epic.

“Terry Lloyd [the Silicon Knights expert witness] being excluded from testifying at trial is really one of the few rulings that Epic can say went their way,” Dyack said.

The remainder of the statement reminds that this thing still is going to trial. “Epic is going to trial for Fraud, Unfair Competition, Deceptive Trade Practices, Breach of Warranty and Breach of Contract, and the voluminous evidence of Epic’s wrongdoing will be heard by the jury,” the company says.

In a nutshell, Silicon Knights alleges that Epic failed to provide a working game engine for Too Human, withheld an improved version of the Unreal engine, and used licensing fees to, in bad faith, fund its development of Gears of War and not improve Unreal.

“Silicon Knights has patiently waited for five years for this trial and is looking forward to Epic’s misconduct finally being aired in the light of day,” the company said in its statement. “We are glad that there was such interest from the press during the holidays, as this case is important for the video games industry.”


  • Silicon knights are one of those studios that I wish would just go away.

    They haven’t made a single game that I would call anything above par yet they make out like Too Human would have been some giant success if Epic hadn’t stone walled them on software update (or so they claim). There were plenty of good games released on UE3 at the time and the have no excuse for their title not being one of them.

    • Can you please give me the list of outstanding games that were made using UE3 at the time and weren’t made by Epic in house?

      • Also, since I threw Army of Two in there which wasn’t oustanding but still did better than Too Human, I might as well throw in the others that weren’t “outstanding” that also did better going by Metacritic;

        America’s Army 3
        Frontlines Fuel of War
        Brothers in Arms Hells Highway
        MK vs DC
        Tom Clancy’s End War

        • Oh wow, that is your list of outstanding games…your taste is truly terrible.

          Stanglehold? Seriously, and then you said Army of Two wasn’t Outstanding! What the hell is wrong with you.

          Mirrors Edge was a cool idea, but was in no way outstanding.

          You are at least correct that Army of Two wasn’t outstanding.

          R6:LV2 Also isn’t outstanding, but it was a good solid game so perhaps you can leave that on your list.

          But you were at least correct for 2 on your first list, Arkham Asylum and Mass Effect were both outstanding titles

          Okay so your second list.

          Turok!? Are you trying to give Stranglehold some competition for one of the worst games on your list.

          AA3 – I admittedly have no experience with this game.

          Frontlines….. COME ONNNN, this is worse than Turok.

          The rest of your titles I have little experience with only seeing them other than End War which was completely unremarkable.

          So now, on another note, you did list a couple of outstanding titles and your list contains some good/decent titles, but mostly pretty average games, so I think what you have shown is that it seems to be the dev studio not the engine that made the games good or bad as you had games fitting into every category.

          Oh and Too Human was terrible, they failed the first test, bad control system, don’t know why they want to blame the engine because their choice of control system meant the game would never succeed.

      • I’ll take Eternal Darkness 2, leave Too Human in the rubbish where it belongs please.

        Damn Eternal Darkness on the GC was brilliant, that game totally freaked me out, even when I knew it was coming it got me.

  • I’m on Silicon Knights side with this, not necessarily on damages though. Simply if you are selling a licence of an engine you should also be prepared to provide it in an up-to-date form all the way up to the release of the licensed product, as well as provide support for your client.

  • Why would Epic take the chance of screwing over SK with their biggest money maker when they so willingly give that tech to practically every freakin’ developer out there?

    I think SK are just trying to pass the buck on Too Human being a steaming pile of crap. Nothing could’ve saved that game.

    • while i agree that too human wasn’t my cup of tea (im a huge diablo style hater) and heaps of developers are using UE3 im pretty sure that SK were one of the first they were certainly working on TH before GoW1 came out

  • I loved two human. Sure it has its flaws but people so many just jumped on the band wagon. The adhd crowd of today (especially reviewers) couldn’t find time to fully understand the game mechanics which is partly SKs fault for not fully explaining things in a well rounded tutorial. The Game clearly has visible marks of a troubled development and a little reading shows that the unreal engine really was a bad fit for the game SK had in mind. All The cool stuff took many hours to achieve so many never saw the gravity wells and acid pools that made co-op such a joy. If it didn’t have the huge development cycle and so much money pumped into it people probably wouldn’t of gave it such a bad rap.
    700,000 copies sold is not really a flop and unlike so many titles on my shelf multiplayer is still alive and kicking.

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