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Deathblow! Silicon Knights ordered to destroy all software with unreal code.

Jul 15, 2004
19,940
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UK
If they're feeling vindictive, they should leak the game code via torrent before they delete it. This effectively kills them anyway, most likely. Maybe there's something useful there that people could play with.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
1
705
retro is owned by nintendo. they're fine. platinum is just partnering for two games as far as we know, but they were already pretty fucking aces well before that.
There's still Team Ninja, and seeing Ninja Gaiden 3 should probably make everyone VERY ALARMED about a Nintendo curse.

Of course, an updated release being published by Nintendo may well show the cure: going back to Nintendo!
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
Jun 8, 2004
43,345
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Yikes. Starting to feel slightly sorry for them...I guess these are the risks when you take a legal action though.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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They look with their eyes. Unreal games have a very distinct look to them.
Right... This here is an UE3 game:

Even with Too Human, if you look close enough, there's a clear difference between the old 2005 footage and the newer code. Now, I'm not saying that Silicon Knights did nothing wrong here, the court has clearly decided that they did, but it's not so plainly evident.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
1
705
Even with Too Human, if you look close enough, there's a clear difference between the old 2005 footage and the newer code. Now, I'm not saying that Silicon Knights did nothing wrong here, the court has clearly decided that they did, but it's not so plainly evident.
As I understand it a lot of the problem was that Silicon Knights simply didn't do much of anything to defend or justify themselves. They could well have truly started from scratch, but without actually doing much to prove it they get found guilty and told to trash this stuff anyway. Frankly, that IS kind of damning, it's odd to license an engine only to quickly make your own and get the game out relatively fast anyway.
 

Joni

Member
Aug 11, 2007
30,093
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1,165
My House
If they're feeling vindictive, they should leak the game code via torrent before they delete it. This effectively kills them anyway, most likely. Maybe there's something useful there that people could play with.
It would only open them up to lawsuits by Marvel, the one where they ruin the credit rating of an individual person. I doubt they'd be happy about people leaking there licensed content.

I'm curious. How is Epic able to prove that SK was still using their engine after supposedly abandoning it? Epic is not allowed to inspect the source code, right? So how do they know and prove that it's still their engine?
Epic claimed SK didn't stop using their engine, the judge forced SK to give Epic the source code so they could investigate.
 

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
42,342
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Florida
If they're feeling vindictive, they should leak the game code via torrent before they delete it. This effectively kills them anyway, most likely. Maybe there's something useful there that people could play with.
There are only 5 people left at the company, unless someone copied the source code in the past, it will be pretty easy to figure out which of them leaked the code, and they would likely be in a lot of trouble.
 

Glass Rebel

Member
Oct 12, 2010
31,644
14
895
Hope the employees find a new place to work at but I can't say I feel bad about Dyack getting what he deserves.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
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Hope the employees find a new place to work at but I can't say I feel bad about Dyack getting what he deserves.
Combine that with this:
There are only 5 people left at the company, unless someone copied the source code in the past, it will be pretty easy to figure out which of them leaked the code, and they would likely be in a lot of trouble.
... And yeah, I bet many of them already HAVE new jobs. Certainly I wouldn't be hedging bets on working at Silicon Knights again.
 

Rafaelcsa

Member
Dec 10, 2009
673
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0
Epic claimed SK didn't stop using their engine, the judge forced SK to give Epic the source code so they could investigate.
Oh that makes sense. Thanks.

Shitty situation all around. Really irresponsible management at SK.
 

Hana-Bi

Member
Oct 11, 2009
2,228
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755
I really liked Too Human but since the code of Siren in the Maelstorm (one rumored project of SK) must also be destroyed this is basically the end of SK.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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As I understand it a lot of the problem was that Silicon Knights simply didn't do much of anything to defend or justify themselves. They could well have truly started from scratch, but without actually doing much to prove it they get found guilty and told to trash this stuff anyway. Frankly, that IS kind of damning, it's odd to license an engine only to quickly make your own and get the game out relatively fast anyway.
Without getting into the details of the case, Too Human didn't come out relatively fast. It was shown in playable state in 2005, then it disappeared off the radar only to emerge two years later and come out a year after that. Too Human took a very long time to develop, and I'm only talking about its 360 incarnation.
 

Raide

Member
Oct 29, 2007
24,342
1
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I really did enjoy Too Human (Not many of us out there that did!) but its a shame to see it vanish. Hopefully someone picks it up and gets it running on a new engine.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
1
705
Without getting into the details of the case, Too Human didn't come out relatively fast. It was shown in playable state in 2005, then it disappeared off the radar only to emerge two years later and come out a year after that. Too Human took a very long time to develop, and I'm only talking about its 360 incarnation.
2007 was when it came out though, right? I figure a smaller developer could take much longer getting an engine working.

EDIT: Should've searched first, as it came out August 2008! Damn, crazy how that feels like an "early" title when by Xbox standards it would've been the same vintage as Halo 2, GC Metroid Prime 2/Paper Mario 2/Pikmin, and for Playstation 1 Metal Gear Solid. Really shows how long the generation dragged, but at any rate I guess that is a believable amount of time to build a new engine.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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2007 was when it came out though, right? I figure a smaller developer could take much longer getting an engine working.

EDIT: Should've searched first, as it came out August 2008! Damn, crazy how that feels like an "early" title when by Xbox standards it would've been the same vintage as Halo 2, GC Metroid Prime 2/Paper Mario 2/Pikmin, and for Playstation 1 Metal Gear Solid. Really shows how long the generation dragged, but at any rate I guess that is a believable amount of time to build a new engine.
Yes, it came out in August of 2008. It reemerged in April of 2007, and probably started development in 2004 or early 2005.
 

syllogism

Member
Dec 14, 2004
8,944
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1,160
I'm curious. How is Epic able to prove that SK was still using their engine after supposedly abandoning it? Epic is not allowed to inspect the source code, right? So how do they know and prove that it's still their engine?
I haven't read the case yet, but yes they did inspect the source code



 

ymmv

Banned
Mar 17, 2007
6,485
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Amsterdam, NL
The sad part about this whole mess is that from wht I read about the case I believe SK's lawsuit against Epic had merit. Untill Gears of War came out, Unreal Engine 3 had lots of problems judging by the technical problems that plagued the few UE games that had been released until then. Epic had obviously promised a better, more stable and more powerful engine to devs than what they actually delivered. And it took Epic years to make UE3 perform on the PS3 perform as well as it did on the 360. Epic's incompetence was the reason why The Last Remnant was never released for the PS3.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
1
705
I haven't read the case yet, but yes they did inspect the source code



That does seem to make it more clear cut, but I can't help but wonder if a third party would've been better suited? But I guess they brought up examples Silicon Knights couldn't refute.

... And yeah, I imagine Silicon Knights definitely had a point about UE3 not really being in a fit state then, and maybe they would've actually won the case had they ALSO stayed a licensed developer and stuck with UE3 as it was anyway.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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The sad part about this whole mess is that from wht I read about the case I believe SK's lawsuit against Epic had merit. Untill Gears of War came out, Unreal Engine 3 had lots of problems judging by the technical problems that plagued the few UE games that had been released until then. Epic had obviously promised a better, more stable and more powerful engine to devs than what they actually delivered. And it took Epic years to make UE3 perform on the PS3 perform as well as it did on the 360. Epic's incompetence was the reason why The Last Remnant was never released for the PS3.
Agreed, I have a feeling Epic got off rather easy, but the law has spoken. It's probably due to Silicon Knights' lawyers' incompetence, more than anything.
 

TemplaerDude

Member
Feb 4, 2006
19,129
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Vancouver, British Columbia
Destroying the code is too much. Assign all the property to Epic or something.
The fuck would anyone want that for?

Look, I liked Too Human, more than I should have, but there is no world that exists in anyones imagination where in 5 years some one could pop up and say "Hey, remember fucking Too Human? Want some more?"

It's dead, kill it and bury it. Game over, man.

Also, good fuckin' job Dyack, your ego finally did you in.
 

ymmv

Banned
Mar 17, 2007
6,485
0
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Amsterdam, NL
Agreed, I have a feeling Epic got off rather easy, but the law has spoken. It's probably due to Silicon Knights' lawyers' incompetence, more than anything.
SK should never, ever have used even parts of the UE3 engine after dropping the license. That was the basis of the countersuit and the reason the judge basically killed SK.

What probably happened was that they started fixing Epic's broken UE3 engine, and kept doing that until they had rewritten the code so much, deleted so many of Epics libraries and put in so much of their own, that it basically became a brandnew engine. But because they didn't start from scratch, their engine still contained elements of UE3 that were impossible to remove because they simply couldn't tell the difference between Epic's code and their own. (Plus it didn't help that every reference to UE had been deleted)
 

Waaghals

Member
Oct 29, 2007
1,960
0
975
The sad part about this whole mess is that from wht I read about the case I believe SK's lawsuit against Epic had merit. Untill Gears of War came out, Unreal Engine 3 had lots of problems judging by the technical problems that plagued the few UE games that had been released until then. Epic had obviously promised a better, more stable and more powerful engine to devs than what they actually delivered. And it took Epic years to make UE3 perform on the PS3 perform as well as it did on the 360. Epic's incompetence was the reason why The Last Remnant was never released for the PS3.
I am convinced that Dyack was right when he said that UE3 wasn't ready in time. Many of the early games ran poorly, and the engine imploded on ps3.

Keep in mind that massive texture pop in was so prevalent in early UE3 games that it was almost considered a feature:) Mass Effect was a sub-20fps trainwreck on 360.

However, I am also now convinced that SK could not make a good game under Dyack's leadership, and that the company ended up using large amounts of UE3 in Too human. So this result is to be expected.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,667
1
705
The fuck would anyone want that for?

Look, I liked Too Human, more than I should have, but there is no world that exists in anyones imagination where in 5 years some one could pop up and say "Hey, remember fucking Too Human? Want some more?"

It's dead, kill it and bury it. Game over, man.

Also, good fuckin' job Dyack, your ego finally did you in.
Preservation, mainly. Not that it's one of the top things to preserve at all, maybe if we lost something like Eternal Darkness then it'd be a higher priority, but it's still a shame to actively see a creative work period ORDERED to be destroyed.
 

FyreWulff

Member
Jan 21, 2010
39,740
0
0
The Internet
fyrewulff.com
Both sides were being terrible in this. Dyack did himself no favors and SK had a terrible legal team, though.

- Unreal 3 was a barely supported piece of dreck at the time, and many developers know this. You could barely get them to help you after paying millions, and the engine ran like shit on PS3 but they kept selling licenses for it.

- They had the benefit of the mass exodus off Renderware after EA bought it. So they had a semi-captive audience of developers that needed something fast to get 360/PS3 projects up and running if they didn't have in-house tech.

- However, Dyack found his ego more important than his company's future, and did not ensure proper documentation or process of code changes to show they completely replaced all the novel parts of UE3 eventually, if they did. This happens in software all the time, so it's not a new concept.

- They really did nothing to even defend themselves, basically going AFK while in court, which is a terrible idea especially when it's in the state of the other side.


Epic got lucky, SK is dead, and it's real scary that Epic was able to essentially erase a game from history. The code should have been surrendered to Epic or (better) sold at auction with all proceeds going to Epic. Destroying copies and destroying code? Too far. Preservation of games is very important.
 

AngryPyros

Member
May 2, 2007
95
0
0
Does this make sealed too human a valuable game to hold?
No. The court order calls for SK to stop distributing or producing the games. Microsoft publishes and distributes Too Human, not SK. Likewise, the order calls for SK to recall and destroy all copies of their games at their expense. They have no power to recall the games, not being the publisher/distributor, nor could they afford to do so. With the fine imposed upon them earlier, they're likely to just completely shut down. Unless MS decides to pull the game themselves because of the court case, I don't think SK will be making copies disappear.
 

Oersted

Member
Mar 14, 2012
32,329
1
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This deserves a "companies after leaving the Nintendo ship"-article. It feels like they are all dying or going shitty (Rare)
 

Alextended

Banned
Jan 30, 2010
9,943
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How did this happen then? Even if they lost their case where they tried to say Epic was at fault for certain troubles they experienced due to using their engine, how does losing that case suddenly also cause them lose the Unreal license they (I imagine?) actually paid for, and to this extent? Anyway, Unity is cheap, Torque 3D is free, go for that until you get some money for another engine.
 

crazygambit

Member
Jun 4, 2007
4,928
0
0
SK sued Epic for licensing the and unfinished buggy engine, Unreal 3, and using the money to fund the development of Gears of War instead of supporting the engine's licensees. I feel it was pretty much true, just not illegal. Epic counter sued because SK used a modified version of the U3 engine to make their games.

The result is the dry reeming listed in the OP.
Wait. But doesn't everyone use a modified version of the engine? I don't understand how that ends up in SK having to destroy all the code having to do with UE3.

More importantly, what does this mean for all the other licensees? Could they also be in risk of something like this? If I was licensing the engine or considering licensing it I'd be looking at this very carefully.
 

Dead Man

Member
Aug 24, 2007
54,245
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The fuck would anyone want that for?

Look, I liked Too Human, more than I should have, but there is no world that exists in anyones imagination where in 5 years some one could pop up and say "Hey, remember fucking Too Human? Want some more?"

It's dead, kill it and bury it. Game over, man.

Also, good fuckin' job Dyack, your ego finally did you in.
What is the reason to preserve anything?