updated 05:00 pm EST, Fri November 9, 2012
Unsold titles must be destroyed, production stopped on three games
Following a resounding defeat in court, game developer Silicon Knights has been ordered to recall and destroy unsold copies of its titles, cease development for three titles currently in development, and pay Unreal Tournament and Gears of War developer Epic Games a fine of $9.2 million dollars. Silicon Knights was found to have "repeatedly and deliberately copied significant portions of Epic Games' code" and used it to develop a competing game engine.
The legal battle began in 2007 when Silicon Knights accused Epic Games of sabotaging development of Silicon Knights titles with the company's Unreal Engine 3, calling it difficult to use and inflexible. Epic was handed the victory in May and was told it would receive millions of dollars in compensation.
Silicon Knights must also allow Epic Games to independently verify that future titles contain no vestiges of the Unreal Engine code, and must hand over all hardware, databases, code bases, and all other documentation to allow the check. Epic Games has been awarded $4.5 million in damages, and $4.7 million in legal costs. Titles slated for destruction are Too Human and X-Men: Destiny along with unannounced titles The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom. Silicon Knights has until December 21 to comply with the order.