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Unreal Engine 3 Customers Subpoenaed

In other legal wranglings, Shacknews also reports that "multiple Unreal Engine 3 licensees have been served with subpoenas" related to Silicon Knight's lawsuit over Epic's support for the game engine (story). This is apparently an effort at digging into details of the contacts involved, which is normally confidential information, and it's possible that this could lead to this info becoming public. They have a quote from Epic's Mark Rein about this: "I'm leaving the litigation to the lawyers but, if this is the case, I'd like to apologize to any of our licensees who Silicon Knights have inconvenienced. We know that, like us, they just want to make great games."

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20. Re: No subject Jan 24, 2008, 17:32 Some Dude
I agree, lawsuits over breaches of contract are totally at odds with the "it's all chill bra" attitude of the gaming industry. If this is allowed to continue, we will careen down a slippery slope to the point where developers can only wear their Slayer T-shirts on Casual Fridays!

I donít know if you meant to be funny or sarcastic but the circumstances under which Iím allowed to wear my collection of t-shirts from blues clubs around the country wasnít the point.

If you ask me to make 50 hats and I give you a box containing 48, thatís a pretty clear cut thing. Making a game isnít exactly like making a crate of hats though.

If 24 months ago I wrote that the particle system will handle 2,000 at a time and it ends up at 1,250, is that breach of contract?

Think thatís far fetched? Iím not so sure. The suit alleges that Epic deliberately withheld advances in the engine tech. Is it really much of a stretch from there to the kind of milestone bending that happens every day?

Itís entirely up to the language used and the interpretation of the case by some shady bastard further on up the road. Suppose the precedent is used later to apply the concept of negligence to a missed or bent milestone. The point is that if this thing paves the way to build a breach of contract suit around a renderer that fell short of its expected performance then yes, we are all fucked; makers and players alike.

How often do the courts actually understand what they're ruling on? How often do they understand it thoroughly enough to prevent causing more problems than they solve? Is this going to open the door to a whole new arena of fighting with the publisher? I don't know. Could it? Absolutely. The Dagoks of the world aren't required to understand; the rest of us will worry about it and figure it out for them.

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