In the legal dispute over heavy metal action game Brutal Legend, Activision and Double Fine Productions have reportedly buried the hatchet. Or more appropriately, the axe.
The Associated Press is reporting that a scheduled Los Angeles Superior Court hearing in which Activision was to argue for a judge to block the release of Brutal Legend was canceled today. The publisher's attorneys said a settlement was reached, negating the need for the hearing, a representative of the court told the news service.
No notice of settlement has yet been filed in the case, and there are no details as to the terms of the settlement. Representatives with Double Fine, Activision, and Electronic Arts (which is currently set to release the game through its EA Partners program) did not immediately return GameSpot's requests for comment.
The legal tiff began at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, when Activision filed a lawsuit to prevent the release of Brutal Legend. Activision claims that even though it declined to release Brutal Legend after merging with original publisher Vivendi Games, it never lost the rights to put the game out. As a result, Double Fine wouldn't have been free to shop the game around and secure the help of EA Partners in preparing Brutal Legend for its currently scheduled October 13 launch.
Earlier this month, Double Fine countersued, accusing Activision of unlawful business practices and trying to prevent the game's release to thin out potential competition to the publisher's own Guitar Hero franchise. The countersuit mentioned an aborted attempt to make Brutal Legend an extension of the Guitar Hero franchise and said Double Fine's continued existence hinged on the game's successful release.
[UPDATE] The Los Angeles Times cites a source familiar with the situation in reporting that the settlement details are to be kept confidential. However, the game should make its previously announced release date, and the settlement ends the legal wrangling between Activision, Double Fine, and EA.
According to the article, "Though the person declined to disclose any details of the settlement, it appears very likely that Activision received little to no compensation from Double Fine and agreed to a settlement to avoid losing its case in open court."