After almost five years of legal turmoil, the ongoing lawsuit between Silicon Knights and Epic Games has finally gone to court, but it seems the stakes aren't quite as high as previously thought.
New court documents reveal that even if Silicon Knights wins in its case to prove that Epic failed to provide a functional version of Unreal Engine 3, it would only be entitled to $1 in damages, reports Polygon.
In a May 7 ruling, Judge James Dever III said that Silicon Knights never provided a detailed breakdown of the damages it sought from the case, and Polygon reports that the court had to assign a value of its own.
This new assessment of the damages likely arose thanks to a setback Silicon Knights suffered late last year, when a judge dismissed the reports and testimony of an analyst that was key to the developer's case. The analyst had argued that problems with the Unreal Engine's licensing and functionality cost Silicon Knights some $58 million in damages.
While this new amount seems insignificant at best, Silicon Knights could still appeal to dispute how the damages were assessed, or even pursue further recourse against Epic Games. In addition to the $1 in damages, the studio will also receive reimbursement for its lawyer's fees should it win the case.
The conflict between Silicon Knights and Epic first arose in mid-2007, when the Too Human developer sued Epic over qualms with its Unreal Engine 3 technology.
Silicon Knights, which used the engine to develop Too Human, claimed that Epic was using and licensing the Unreal Engine to benefit the launch of Gears of War, while "sabotaging efforts by Silicon Knights and others to develop their own video games."