Furthering the saga between Silicon Knights and Unreal Engine 3 developers Epic, Gamasutra has reviewed court documents showing that Silicon Knights has agreed to seal all documents related to Epic's licensing agreement, and moved to dismiss Epic's previously covered
Following August's counterclaim from Epic, Gamasutra has received documents that state in part that "Silicon Knights does not object to Epic’s motion to file the license agreement under seal until such time that the parties have had the opportunity to negotiate the terms of an appropriate protective order."
The studio, while complicit with sealing the licensing agreement, registers a caveat, saying that it "does not agree that the license agreement in part or in totality contains such highly confidential business information which would outweigh the public’s right to inspect and copy all judicial records."
"Moreover," it continues, "Silicon Knights’ position with regard to Epic’s motion to seal the license agreement in no way impacts any of Silicon Knights’ substantive allegations and claims in the complaint," and the studio says it "reserves the right to move this Court at a later date to unseal that document."
The Story So Far
The documents, part of Silicon Knights' motion to dismiss Epic's counterclaims (provided in full by Gamasutra
), say in no uncertain terms that Epic has "done much wrong" and moves that Epic's own motion to dismiss should be denied.
"Despite Epic’s allegations to the contrary," summarizes the latest documents, "Epic intentionally and without any reasonable basis misrepresented to Silicon Knights both the capabilities of the Engine as well as its intent to develop the Engine and support its licensees, all so that Silicon Knights would purchase a license and essentially fund Epic’s own research and refinement of Epic’s own games."
"Silicon Knights took Epic at its word, paid Epic’s fee for the Engine, and then was forced to watch as Epic, by its own admission, took that money (along with the fees of every other licensee of the Engine) and focused exclusively on its own video game, Gears of War
, instead of providing the products and support it was obligated to, and promised it would, provide," it concludes.
A Matter Of Synergy
Specific counterclaims that Silicon Knights makes include those that say the studio was never made aware that Epic would concurrently be working on the engine as well as its own title. "In fact," says the studio, "Silicon Knights denies that Epic ever employed a “synergistic model” in terms of providing newly-created Engine source code (such as code for Gears of War) to its licensees in real time, which is how a “synergistic” licensor would function."
"In fact," it continues, "just the opposite is true: Epic expressly promised Silicon Knights that any Gears of War updates to the Engine would be provided to Silicon Knights as soon as Epic had any such updates completed," and had it known the reality that it purports followed, "Silicon Knights would never have executed the purported license to the Engine in the first place."
Finally, says the studio, any allegations by Epic that Silicon Knights was intending to develop "an engine to compete with the Unreal Engine 3," are untrue.
"Silicon Knights does not believe it is in a position to undertake the considerable challenge of licensing its technology to other developers and providing adequate support to those licensees. Therefore, Silicon Knights has no present intention of developing a middleware business as Epic contends," the documents read.
"Indeed, unlike Epic," says the studio, "Silicon Knights would not embark on a licensing program without first putting into place all of the necessary independent resources to support such a program, including sufficient technical staff and other aspects of an appropriate licensing structure."