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Silicon Knights ordered to destroy games in Epic Games trial
Before diving into this, let me provide some context. Back in 2007, Silicon Knights accused Epic Games of “sabotaging efforts by Silicon Knights and others to develop their own video games” using Epic’s Unreal Engine 3. Pertaining to that dispute, Epic Games won in May of this year and could receive up to $4.5 million in damages.
However, North Carolina District Judge James Dever, in recent court documents, stated that Silicon Knights “repeatedly and deliberately copied significant portions of Epic Games’ code containing trade secrets…and used it to create a competing product, Silicon Knights’s own game engine.” As a result, Silicon Knights has been ordered to not only remove any technology that belongs to Epic Games from its own game engine, but to also destroy any code from prior versions of its game engine that it possesses.
Epic Games has been granted the ability to “independently verify that Silicon Knights’s game engine no longer contains and of Epic Games’s Licensed Technology.” As a result, Silicon Knights must hand over all computers, databases, servers, and just about anything else that Epic can check for itself. Finally, Silicon Knights is ordered to destroy any unsold copies of Too Human and X-Men: Destiny, as well as any code in The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom. If you haven’t heard of any of those three titles, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. These three titles were unreleased and, until today, unannounced to the public.
Production and distribution of these titles must stop immediately, and the judge has issued a warning that if there is any other product using Epic Games’s code, it must be revealed. Silicon Knights must now pay $9.2 million to Epic Games: $4.5 million for the damages, and another $4.7 for legal costs. Silicon Knights has until December 21st, 2012 to comply with the judge’s order. Better scoop up those copies of Too Human and X-Men: Destiny while you can.