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MGE Issues Statement On SCi Theft Allegations

Continuing to add to the mystery surrounding the <a href="http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=10010">recent allegations of theft and sabotage</a> by MGE...

Jason Dobson

July 14, 2006

3 Min Read

Continuing to add to the mystery surrounding the recent allegations of theft and sabotage by MGE Software and Mithis Entertainment against publishers SCi Entertainment and HD Publishing, MGE Software has now issued a statement detailing its own view of the tangled situation. MGE Software, which, according to its own statement, still claims ownership of the rights and source code for titles such as Joint Task Force, Battlestations: Midway,and Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, states that it recently discovered that all of its game development projects had been deleted from the computers of 'MGE subcontractor' Mithis Entertainment, and that the software and servers were missing. The company alleges that former Mithis employees conspired to take the software, and in turn hand the code over to Most Wanted Entertainment and SCi. MGE noted that the removal of code was not approved by the company, and thus the matter was handed over to the Hungarian legal authorities by Mithis' former CEO. The company indicated in its statement that a civil suit was filed against SCi, Eidos and Most Wanted Entertainment, as well as against ex-Mithis employees and others who it believes are involved. MGE did confirm that in 2003 it signed a development agreement with SCi for Battlestations Midway. However according to MGE, the agreement explicitly stated that MGE remained the developer and sole owner of the source code. But MGE noted that this same source code was later found at the offices of Most Wanted Entertainment and Eidos-Hungary, both of which exist within the same building. The statement also indicted that SCi has openly admitted to having taken over “development of the software.” The statement from MGE further stated that per the aforementioned agreement, SCi was not to “solicit, employ or engage the development team members and/or Mithis employees to work with them.” However, the company alleges that SCi has violated this portion of the agreement, and as worked directly with ex-Mithis employees who gave the company information on projects gained while they were employed by Mithis. MGE's statement continued by noting that in 2005 it and SCi began negotiations to form a new company to be mutually owned by both SCi and MGE, valuing MGE at 8.8 Million Euros along the way. As part of this deal, SCi requested that all source code and development rights for Mithis' titles be handed over to SCi. However, according to MGE, this deal never materialized, and now transfer of code was made. These allegations have been denied by SCi, as well as by Most Wanted Entertainment's Dutch-based parent company, publisher HD Publishing b.v. In addition, in a statement released by HD Publishing earlier this week, the company noted that at that time it had not been contacted by the police. The company also added that that it believes that the complaints made by MGE and Mithis “appear to be made indiscriminately against all publishers of games formerly being developed by Mithis.” While second disputed game Joint Task Force was initially developed by Mithis, the game's development was confirmed at E3 in May to be switched over to Most Wanted Entertainment, the Hungarian development arm of HD Publishing. The game is currently scheduled for release in the fall of 2006. The statement from MGE ends: "And the question of questions that still remains unanswered by SCi – how and when did it get hold of the source code, which it admits that it has, and was this done in a legal manner? MGE will continue to take every possible measure according to the laws in order to protect its rights."

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