Hello Games accused of failing to license No Man's Sky universe generation 'superformula'

Dutch company Genicap claims it owns the rights to maths behind procedural creation of near-infinite number of planets
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Hello Games has run into yet another legal snag regarding its upcoming ambitious space exploration title No Man’s Sky.

This time, a Dutch company has accused the UK studio of using its ‘superformula’ to procedurally generate the game’s billions of planets, without licensing the patented method.

Hello dev Sean Murray has previously discussed the maths behind No Man’s Sky’s near-infinite number of masses for players to visit in a number of interviews, citing an equation published in 2003 by Belgian plant geneticist Johan Gielis as the secret to calculating and randomly creating a massive variety of natural factors – such as temperature, climate, terrain, flora and fauna – for the title’s many planets.

Gielis called the equation his ‘superformula’, a term later adopted by Murray to describe the maths at the heart of No Man’s Sky.

However, as a NeoGAF user has spotted, Gielis is chief research officer at Genicap, which has owned a patent on the formula since 2000.

“We haven’t provided a licence to Hello Games,” Genicap’s Jeroen Sparrow told the Dutch Telegraph.

“We certainly don’t want to stop the launch, but if the formula is used we’ll need to have a talk.”

He added that Genicap itself is "in the process of creating a game based on the superformula”.

“It would be great if we could trade knowledge with Hello Games,” he said. “We tried to contact them but didn't get any response."

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