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 Post subject: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-10 10:23am
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This shit happens practically once a month with smaller developers and download-only games, but I can't remember the last time anything like this happened with a comparatively major developer.

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A motion was filed on Tuesday by Judge James C. Denver III of North Carolina's Eastern District court ordering Silicon Knights to destroy all unsold copies of both Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. This request is not unprecented, but has been a long time since a developer (and not the publisher) has been forced to destroy copies of their games. The reason for this court order is complex, but it comes back to the lawsuit Silicon Knights filed against Epic Games, which is the third lawsuit I discussed back in the Lawsuit Special.

Essentially, Silicon Knights had sued Epic Games back in 2007 regarding alleged mis-handling of the Unreal Engine 3. Silicon Knights claimed Epic Games breached their contract by failing to provide adequate support regarding the Unreal Engine 3. In turn, Epic Games filed a counter-suit, claiming that the support was adequate and within the terms of the contract, in addition Epic Games claimed that Silicon Knights broke the contract by creating their own game engine out of Unreal Engine 3, which was used to create both Too Human, X-Men Destiny and a handful of prototypes for future projects. By doing so, Silicon Knights violated copyright and trade secret acts. Specifically, the court found that Silicon Knights violated 333 trade secrets out of the total 1,442 presented by Epic Games.

Epic Games proved that Silicon Knights stole data from Unreal Engine 3 to make their own game engine by pointing out that typographical errors in notations made by Epic engineers were present in the Silicon Knights game engine.

While our earlier report stated that the court found in favor of Epic Games, the exact terms of the lawsuit are now being made clear. Here is a rundown of the court's rulings, filed on November 7th, 2012:

Epic Games is to be awarded $277,852.13 to cover costs related to testimonies.

Epic Games is to be awarded $680 in expert witness fees.

Epic Games cannot, under North Carolina law, be awarded attorney fees as the litigation proved successful. That is in regards to Silicon Knights lawsuit, and not the counter-suit filed by Epic Games.

Epic Games, due to the nature of Silicon Knights attempted cover-up of the stolen code, is to be awarded attorney fees regarding the counter-suit. The grand total is $2,091,722.83 in attorney fees.

Epic Games was initially granted by the jury, damages in the payment of $2,650,000 regarding Silicon Knights breach of contract lawsuit. Epic Games' counter-suit was awarded damages in the payment of $1,800,000. Epic Games declined, stating that they "only sought Silicon Knights ill-gotten profits". To that end, all net revenue earned by the sales of X-Men: Destiny is to be awarded to Epic Games.

The court found that due to the scale of Silicon Knights actions regarding stolen code, a permanent injunction was acceptable in the resolution of this case. The result is that Silicon Knights must immediately cease the usage of Epic Games Licensed Technology. All existing games shall have Epic Games Licensed Technology removed from them, and at the expense of Silicon Knights, Epic Games will provide their own programmers to verify this action was indeed followed. After Epic Games verifies that the existing games and game engine have been scrubbed clean of all stolen code, Silicon Knights shall destroy their game engine and every line of code that comprises said game engine.

Perhaps the worst punishment, is that no later than December 10th, 2012, Silicon Knights shall destroy all versions of the Epic Games Licensed Technology in their possession, including the following: Too Human, X-Men: Destiny and unreleased titles/prototypes including The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman and Siren in the Mealstrom. This includes an order to cease the distribution of the aforementioned games and to, at the expense of Silicon Knights, buyback all existing unsold copies and have them destroyed.

Silicon Knights motion for appeal was denied. All information contained in this article may be found within the official motion, located here in a readable, PDF format.

Cue jokes about how they should have been forced to destroy all copies of Too Human and X-Men Destiny anyway, on the grounds that they were really, really crappy games. :P

If the previous reports about Silicon Knights' financial state are correct, then this is undoubtedly going to be the killer blow, either from the expense of recalling all their copies or the inevitable massive fine they'll get for not being able to comply with the court order. Guess this also means that any hope for an Eternal Darkness sequel on the Wii U is pretty much up in smoke, unless Nintendo were smart enough to specify that they gained control of the IP in the event of Silicon Knights going under.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-10 06:22pm
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Too Human is nowhere near as bad as idiot nerds say, and X-Men Destiny at least tried to be interesting. Too bad the developers were complete morons, I guess? :lol:

Why would people be waiting for an Eternal Darkness sequel anyway? The baton has well and truly been passed to a good number of actually successful tense games.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-10 07:47pm
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There were some pretty strong hints from Nintendo and Silicon Knights last year that they were going to produce a new Eternal Darkness game for the Wii U (or possibly 3DS), though I believe that was before the latter laid off a ton of their staff in the wake of X-Men Destiny flopping. Given what's happened since, it's probably now more likely that Nintendo will let Silicon Knights go to the wall, pick up the rights to Eternal Darkness for peanuts (assuming they don't just gain them automatically), then re-release the original game on the Wii U's Virtual Console and enjoy all the profits without having to share them anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-11 01:24pm
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Stark wrote:
Too Human is nowhere near as bad as idiot nerds say, and X-Men Destiny at least tried to be interesting. Too bad the developers were complete morons, I guess? :lol:

Why would people be waiting for an Eternal Darkness sequel anyway? The baton has well and truly been passed to a good number of actually successful tense games.


I've got Too Human and must agree. It wasn't the greatest game ever, but it had some interesting ideas and the world had potential. I think there were intentions for a series of games but it came to nothing. I've played a hell of a lot worse that were classed as AAA games.



Don't Move you're surrounded by Armed Bastards - Gene Hunt's attempt at Diplomacy

I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own - Number 6

The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-11 08:44pm
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Too Human would have benefitted from a tutorial. Because as we all know, videogame reviewers are slothful beasts which become ornery if they have to learn to play videogames on their own, and so any game that doesn't follow strict genre conventions and also doesn't spell out its own conventions in short words and illustrated examples is going to get poor reviews full of blatant lies (see also: Alpha Protocol).

I especially liked the complaining about the length of the death animation, because if you're dying all the time and that's becoming a problem it means you suck (and also that you haven't figured out that pressing B makes you invincible).

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-11 09:37pm
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There's a video on youtube of a guy in the first level of AP running around at full speed shooting his pistol without aiming at guys miles away, screaming hoarsely WHY CAN'T I HIT ANYTHING OMG THIS GAME IS BULLSHIT WTF BBQ.

That's a game reviewer; so set in expectation they can't even understand decades-old genre staples like 'levels' and 'dynamic reticles'. Too Human wasn't good and it had a really bad UI, but the chopping was fine.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
whatisprojectzohar.com

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 03:53pm
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Too Human wasn't bad, it wasn't great, but not bad, in my opinion anyway.

Alpha Protocol however is a prime example of reviewers screwing things up. Playing the game half decently takes a thing called patience, ad a case of RTFM. Just because Alpha Protocol didn't have mind blowing graphics that would make most PCs cry doesn't mean its a bad game. It had a hell of a lot of thought put into it, it's just a shame that a lot of the mainstream gaming types don't seem to appreciate it.



Don't Move you're surrounded by Armed Bastards - Gene Hunt's attempt at Diplomacy

I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own - Number 6

The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 05:45pm
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This actually makes me want to go to gamestop and grab a copy of Too Human out of the bargin bin.



And this is why you don't watch anything produced by Ronald D. Moore after he had his brain surgically removed and replaced with a bag of elephant semen.-Gramzamber, on why Caprica sucks

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 05:53pm
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Ladies and gentlemen, constructive video game discussion in action. :v

Just remember dodge is critical, and maybe look up how the upgrade shit works. Ford'll probably be up for coops too lol.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
whatisprojectzohar.com

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 06:06pm
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Not sure if you're being sarcastic, I can never tell with you. :)

Alpha Protocol is one of the best examples though. It didn't have mind blowing graphics and required thought and patience. Most reviewers now seem to want a game they can pick up, play and complete within two minutes, and AP wasn't that. I do keep meaning to replay it and try the different approaches in the game though and I will someday soon. Instead we're going to keep getting Call of Battlefield:Modern Black Ops 10.



Don't Move you're surrounded by Armed Bastards - Gene Hunt's attempt at Diplomacy

I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own - Number 6

The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 06:58pm
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Actually, blops 2 looks like it might be fun because it's stopped taking itself so seriously and is indicating to me that I can rocket suit onto the back of a horse and then machine gun quadrotors out of the air while galloping full tilt away from an ICBM. Other than that yeah, modern shooters need to die.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 07:01pm
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Stark wrote:
There's a video on youtube of a guy in the first level of AP running around at full speed shooting his pistol without aiming at guys miles away, screaming hoarsely WHY CAN'T I HIT ANYTHING OMG THIS GAME IS BULLSHIT WTF BBQ.

That's a game reviewer; so set in expectation they can't even understand decades-old genre staples like 'levels' and 'dynamic reticles'. Too Human wasn't good and it had a really bad UI, but the chopping was fine.


Even the great nerdo favorite Yahtzee criticized the game for having controls he wasn't used too. I fondly remember him complaining that the R stick should only ever be used for camera and the left stick for movement.

This from the same guy who complains about industry stagnation and shooter clones.

I wasn't too fond of the game myself but the controls were one of the better aspects of the game. They weren't inferior to a conventional scheme they were just different. But this is the video game industry "different" is a word that causes many zits to pop.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 07:03pm
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Too Human would have been better if the combat wasn't so boring and didn't feel like a mindless chore to slog through. I wanted to enjoy it but man.



"It's you Americans. There's something about nipples you hate. If this were Germany, we'd be romping around naked on the stage here."

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 07:15pm
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It is just a q diabl, after all. But its much more agility/movement based than most, so at risk of sounding terrible if you play it in a fun way its more fun lol. Its certainly not a great game, but it was lambasted up and down the internet as probably the worst game ever, which it certainly isn't. I'd call it an average game that was designed by idiots or unfinished, which is pretty average for the industry (and arguably includes AP as well).

Its definitely the kind of game worth $5 from a bargain bin. Now, if only goddamn Just Cause 2 was $5....



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
whatisprojectzohar.com

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-12 11:58pm
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CaptHawkeye wrote:
Even the great nerdo favorite Yahtzee criticized the game for having controls he wasn't used too. I fondly remember him complaining that the R stick should only ever be used for camera and the left stick for movement.

This from the same guy who complains about industry stagnation and shooter clones.


Yahtzee frequently complains about games because he's rubbish at them or not paying attention to them (Valkyria Chronicles was another example where he appears to have glanced at it for five minutes before the review), not just because they're particularly bad.

Too Human also still has the best loot management system in any q diabl. Specify a rarity, anything below it just immediately converts into money on pickup. Inventory woes solved.

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 Post subject: Re: Silicon Knights ordered to destroy their games PostPosted: 2012-11-13 05:50am
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Stark wrote:
It is just a q diabl, after all. But its much more agility/movement based than most, so at risk of sounding terrible if you play it in a fun way its more fun lol. Its certainly not a great game, but it was lambasted up and down the internet as probably the worst game ever, which it certainly isn't. I'd call it an average game that was designed by idiots or unfinished, which is pretty average for the industry (and arguably includes AP as well).

I seem to recall that it had a pretty drawn out development cycle, starting out on the GameCube before moving to the original Xbox and finally ending up on the 360, so it wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft ran out of patience and forced Silicon Knights to release it before they were ready.

What probably didn't help matters was that the demo (which, admittedly, is the limit of my experience of the game) didn't really do anything to showcase any of the strengths that people have been talking about, so it just ended up giving the impression of an mediocre-to-average action game with a setting that was admittedly pretty cool, but not by itself enough to justify purchasing the game at full price.

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