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Dyack blasts Epic for taking legal spat "to the press"

Silicon Knights chief claims UE3 dispute should have remained "a thing for the courts"

Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack has reignited the war of words with Epic Games, blasting the Unreal Engine 3 developer for making the two firms' legal dispute public and "playing it out in the press".

The companies have been at loggerheads for the past year in a wrangle over Epic's Unreal middleware, which Silicon Knights originally licensed for use with its Xbox 360-exclusive title, Too Human. But while the legal dispute rolls on, Dyack has criticised Epic for sharing details with journalists.

"We had no intentions of playing it out in the press, and Epic was the one who brought it to the press," he told GamesIndustry.biz, speaking at a press event in London earlier this month. "We were quite happy with it not being brought up in the press at all: it's a thing for the courts we think needs to be held separately."

The Canadian studio initially sued Epic for breach of contract in July 2007, accusing the US developer of failing to provide adequate support to a licensee.

Epic boss Mark Rein subsequently issued a statement to the media insisting the claims were "unfounded and without merit", and the company counter-sued in August 2007, accusing Silicon Knights of attempting to "take Epic's licensed technology, pay nothing for it, and use it any way it pleases."

As a result of the conflict, Silicon Knights rewrote the game engine for Too Human. "It certainly was a very difficult hurdle to overcome," Dyack revealed. "Having to rewrite the engine wasn't something we wanted to do, nor something we planned on doing and is something no developer should have to do."

However, he hailed the "sheer tenacity and devotion" of his team for tackling the issue and completing the project. Asked when he had last spoken directly with Mark Rein, Dyack admitted: "It's been a while."

Too Human hit North American stores today, with a release in PAL territories set for August 29.

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Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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