While the trial between Too Human developer Silicon Knights and Unreal Engine house Epic Games is just getting underway, a North Carolina judge ruled that the value of the damages at issue will be limited to $1 per claim.
The case was originally filed in 2007. Silicon Knights had licensed Unreal Engine 3 for Too Human but during development they had major problems using Epic’s tools, which they claimed were unfinished. Silicon Knights eventually decided to abandon Unreal and built their own engine to complete work on Too Human, and subsequently filed suit against Epic alleging, among other things, that the studio had lied about the features in the engine while using the licensing fees to complete development of the first Gears of War.
Silicon Knights had originally claimed the damages totaled $58 million, but last December a judge ruled SK’s main witness for the claim–Terry Lloyd, a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst–wouldn’t be allowed to testify. The company struggled to find other witnesses to make the case for the value of its claims and so the judge decided to cap each claim at $1 rather than postponing the trial.
Silicon Knights had to lay off 45 employees last year after completing work on X-Men Destiny for Activision and failing to close a deal with a publisher their next game. Company CFO told the Financial Post last December that the company still had just under 40 employees. In March SK president and founder Denis Dyack said the studio is “working on an IP that’s our most requested and we’re really excited about that.”