Developers talk about UE3 lawsuit

Written by Joe Martin

July 24, 2007 | 12:06

Tags: #court #gears-of-war #lawsuit #legal #postal #too-human #tournament #ue3 #ut3

Companies: #epic #gearbox #running-with-scissors #silicon-knights #unreal

The lawsuit put against Epic by Silicon Knights has been a bit of a hot topic lately and has shaken the developer community to its core.

The lawsuit alleges that Epic has failed to provide support to a number of developers who have licensed the Unreal Engine 3, created by Epic for the upcoming Unreal Tournament 3, and that the license fees were wrongly used by Epic to promote its own titles and sabotage other games using the engine. Silicon Knights is also alleging that Epic did not deliver the final SDK in time and that it finally arrived eight months late.

Mark Rein, VP of Epic, has commented that he believes the claims are "are unfounded and without merit".

In the lull since the complaint was first filed, ShackNews has interviewed a number of different developers to gauge their reactions.

Results vary, with people like Josh Jeffcoat of Gearbox Software being generally positive; "It's not that UE3 is the best at any one thing it does, because it's not. It's just better at more of them than anything else, and the ten-plus years of maturity it's been through has yielded a better-than-average art and design pipeline. I've heard plenty of tirades and I've given a few of them myself, but at the end of the day, UE3 helped me get my shit done. And it did a better job than any tool set I'd used before."

Others though have been more critical, such as the deliberately controversial Running With Scissors, who developed the Postal series.

"Epic does make a great product and while I don't hold anything against Epic personally, we are a small indie developer and we are at the mercy of the licensor," said Mike Jaret of Running With Scissors, who have licensed the engine for the third Postal game. "It just wasn't the best relationship for us."

Another developer, who wanted to remain anonymous, gave his opinion;

"It is true that Epic was very late in delivering key features to UE3 during the development of Gears of War. They had promised one of the most important feature of UE3, the multi-threaded renderer, many many months before it was finally delivered. Since the key to having fast performances on the Xbox 360 is multi-threading, it made the engine somewhat subpar if you wanted to run your game with good graphics on a console."

A number of other developers refused to comment publicly, according to ShackNews.

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