Canadian studio Silicon Knights has been ordered to destroy all unsold copies of games made by their company utilising Unreal Engine 3 after losing its legal battle with Epic Games, according to court documents. As spotted by NeoGAF user Xenon, page 41 of this court document directs that Silicon Knights has until December 10 2012 to destroy any and all unsold software it has built utilising Unreal Engine 3, or code derived from Unreal Engine 3. This includes code for Too Human and X-Men: Destiny, as well as The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom.
The long running and costly dispute between Silicon Knights and Epic Games over issues of engine support, costs of development, misappropriation of trade secrets, and copyright infringement has been ongoing since the initial filing in 2007, which lead to Epic Games being awarded $4.45 million in damages from Silicon Knights in May this year for breaches of contract and copyright infringement.
In what may be the final nail in the financially troubled developer’s coffin, this latest ruling stipulates that the cost of the product recall and destruction also must be covered by Silicon Knights. This will undoubtedly be a difficult undertaking for the studio, famous for games such as Blood Omen and Eternal Darkness, as Eurogamer has reported that Silicon Knights had only five permanent staff members, including studio head Denis Dyack, as of October 29.