Microsoft on Epic and Silicon Knights Fiasco

Recently, Develop Magazine spoke with Microsoft Game Studios’ general manager, Phil Spencer. Among the topics discussed was the ongoing litigation between Epic Games, makers of Gears of War, and Silicon Knights, developers of Too Human.

In case you are unfamiliar with the lawsuit, Silicon is essentially accusing Epic of selling them a dumbed-down version of the Unreal Engine, claiming Epic’s goal was to show up Too Human a few years back at E3. It gets much more involved than that, with such cool crimes as fraud and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage coming into play, but many have wondered how Microsoft plays into all of this.

Well, according to Phil Spencer, it doesn’t.

“No, we’re not involved in any of the actions between Silicon Knights and Epic – that’s a relationship that they will figure out. But we are deeply involved with making sure that the future of Gears and the first iteration of Too Human are great games on our platform. At a technical level we’ve done work on both games to help further – in the case of Gears – squeeze out ever bit of power out of the 360, and – in the case of Too Human – set the foundation for a franchise.”

When asked to comment on his hopes for the future of the of the legal battle, Spencer had this to say:

“I hope that in the end what people are talking about is the great Too Human game. We’re playing Too Human now at MGS and, as I say – while it’s obviously not finished it’s definitely showing the promise it showed a few years ago. Hopefully people focus on the game itself, not the squabbling that went on to get the game done.”

In the end, hopefully this will all wash away and we will be left with an impressive new franchise. For the time being, however, the litigation means Too Human will remain in development.

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