No Man’s Sky is one of the most anticipated games this year and it seems that while the gamers are readying their controllers for exploring the vast unending world, there are a lot of people trying to hold back the game from reaching the gaming crowd. From death threats to lawsuits, Hello Games are trying their hardest to bring the game to the gamers while others, from a consumer’s perspective (Mine), are trying to pull them down.
Last month it was revealed that Hello Games were having a legal battle over the word ‘Sky’ and fortunately they won it with practically negligible losses. This time around a Dutch company, Genicap has come out and claimed that the tech used in the game for procedural generation was actually theirs and that they have not given permission to Hello Games for using it and to actually contradict their own statement they HAVE NOT SEEN THE SOURCE CODE OF THE GAME. How much more ridiculous can it get?
OK, now let me get this straight. For how long have we known that No Man’s Sky would have a procedurally generated world? For as long as the hype has been building up. And Genicap conveniently swoops down on Hello Games, just a few weeks prior to release, after the game has been delayed for two months to August and says that the code to this super-ambitious game is their own creation. That does sound out of place to me at least.
I have seen many people commenting on No Man’s Sky’s negative articles that everyone is wanting to have a piece of the pie, that is, No Man’s Sky and the worst part is that, being a small company with limited resources, it is very difficult for them to go through many law suits and other problems prior to release. Yes they have the backing of Sony, but mind you, they are not a subsidiary of Sony, so basically Sony can’t fight for them.
After I heard this news, I thought, why not give Genicap’s site a visit. I will not say that I know everything they are up to, but it seems that that they are a group of people who aim at creating innovative technologies and also aim to build a strong network of mathematicians around the world, focusing on geometry and applied mathematics. And nothing on their site mentions anything related to coding, let alone games.
While this does not seem that big an issue, and knowledge is supposed to be free to implement, there are some laws that restrict it’s use in certain places and software comes into one of those categories and while it does state that mathematics cannot be directly implemented, we know very little about how much modifications are required to take it out of the legal loop. Yes a direct copy anywhere would be a patent infringement, but with enough modifications anyone could easily make it their own thing.
The only thing No Man’s Sky has taken is specific working operations of the super-formula created by Genicap, which according to some sources dates back to 2004. Basically this formula is the reason why No Man’s Sky is able to create a plethora of shapes and structures, both 2D and 3D. But the main problem I find here is that this super-formula is at the core, mathematics and I never knew mathematics could be patented in such a way like how these guys are claiming.
Basically what Genicap is doing will be called ‘patent trolling’ by me (And many), since they have caught both Sony and Hello Games in tight space and if the release dates are to be adhered to and prevent another haul of death threat emails, they’ll have to give a compensations fees of some sort to Genicap(Not going into legal terms).
A delay seems imminent if Hello Games are gonna fight this one, but I don’t want to jinx it. It seems that the problems for No Man’s Sky is never ending and while this would not have been an issue in case of it being a big company, it is certainly a problem for them right now. And just look at the suits they have been filed for. I mean for the word ‘Sky’, seriously? That way ‘Rock’, ‘Star’, ‘Cell’, ‘Uncharted’, ‘Tomb’, ‘Halo’ everything can be patented for the name and not be allowed for use but they are used because such things hold little significance, that’s just ridiculous and as for this suit, I find this even more cringe worthy. I mean it’s mathematics and everything in a computer works on mathematics, and hence all games are just a set of mathematical operations simultaneously working together to give a cohesive experience. And while there are a few games that have had this problem, they are the bigger companies and have been able to release their game irrespective.
I feel that Hello Games have tried something different, something big and people are trying to pull them down, hence the title of the post. I do feel genuinely bad for them and this is seriously annoying for the gamers. I, just like many of you out there want to get my hands on this game as soon as possible, but people know, that this is the big vegetarian fish in the sea and hence are circling around to get a taste of it. What do you feel about the above article? Do you think that the release dates would be adhered to? Let us know that and more in the comments below.