Court rules for Activision in Scratch case, "no impact" on DJ Hero

Los Angeles judge finds no evidence of wrongdoing, refuses to grant restraining order against 7 Studios or its new parent company; plaintiffs Genius and Numark say there's more in store.

Earlier this week, DVD company Genius Products and audio equipment manager Numark Industries filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court leveling some serious charges against Activision. Spanning more than 30 pages, the complaint accused Activision of "intentional interference with contract, breach of contract...and misappropriation of trade secrets obtained from Genius to purchase 7 Studios, which is under contract to develop the much-anticipated new hip-hop video game, Scratch: The Ultimate DJ."

DJ Hero isn't missing a beat, according to Activision.

In short, Genius and Numark's filing claimed that Activision contacted them via the cash-strapped 7 Studios expressing interest in buying Scratch: The Ultimate DJ. However, after announcing its own DJ Hero game and seeing a demo of Stratch, Activision allegedly broke off negotiations and promptly bought 7 Studios. The suit then contends that 7 Studios slowed work on the game and refused to turn over software and a Numark turntable-inspired controller when Genius terminated its contract.

In addition to "substantial damages" and a return of its assets, Genius and Numark sought a restraining order against Activision's release of DJ Hero so Scratch could retain its "'first to market' status." This afternoon, Activision released a strongly worded statement announcing that a Los Angeles judge had rejected the request for a restraining order, citing a lack of evidence:

"Activision Publishing strongly denies the allegations made by Genius Products and Numark Industries and believes that the claims are disingenuous and lack any merit. Yesterday, the L.A. Superior Court found that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by Activision and refused to grant any restraining order against Activision.

"These allegations are nothing more than an attempt by Genius to place blame for the game's delay, as well as to divert attention from the cash flow, liquidity, and revenue challenges Genius detailed in its March 30, 2009, SEC filing. By their own admission in October 2008, the game had fallen behind in production, which was well before Activision had any involvement with Genius, Numark or California 7 Studios regarding the game.

"The lawsuit will have no impact on Activision's upcoming DJ Hero game, a turntable-based music game that the company has been independently developing."

Activision's statement did not mention the return of Scratch assets nor any damages, suggesting further legal maneuvering is in store. "Activision wanted to fire back and they did but there are a few things they left out from yesterday's court hearing which Genius will reveal soon," a Genius and Numark rep told GameSpot.

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Discussion

44 comments
Malco_Vincenzo
Malco_Vincenzo

it's sad to see people saying that this "new" idea is worthless just cause it's about hip hop. keep your narrow minded comments to yourself, maybe not everyone like the whole rock scene. most new "rock" music is either about the gf that broke up with them or the girl they like. rock these days is more like pop music. and besides this idea was popular enoughin japan to do a game called beatmania in 1998. this game was made by konami, they also made guitar freaks in 98 as well. guitar hero is just a rip off of guitar freaks. look it up.

pszone
pszone

let it go its not going to sale anyway

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Kurzicide
Kurzicide

You guys always dis on EA and Activision but where do you think the industry would be at right now without them? Surely not much. Only top-of-the-line groups like Capcom and Rockstar and some others could get away with surviving. Yeah I know they do some unwanted things but if you don't like them then don't buy from them. I don't support their goals and ideas but I don't hate them for what they decide to do.

Def_Jammer_17
Def_Jammer_17

i just saw it say featuring deltron 3030... and i j izzed in my pants. consider me a buyer (or at least a renter)

Kfoss
Kfoss

umm i wonder if the turntable that Acitivsion is using is based off a Technics set..just a random thought..surely sucks for Numark..granted scratch doesn't look that fun anyway..and lets face it rhythm games only work if you have awesome DLC support, multilayer and a ton of tracks to start with to boot....

pai-may
pai-may

This constant need for people to be 'heros' is pathetic. Really, are all our lives that crappy that we need some game to tell us we are great. A guy who saves a child from being run down by a bus is a hero, a man who runs into a burning building to rescue his neighbour is a hero. Being able to hit four buttons in a sequence to music does not make you a god damn hero.

protoroc
protoroc

Judge was bought off. Amazing, large company bullies smaller company and wins. This utterly stinks of corruption. Besides any conspiracy theories, these games come too late. Good DJ's are mostly underground these days. Also please name me some mainstream hip hop that even has a scratch in it. Back in late 90s a DJ game could have been gangbusters.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

DJ Hero? Can anything not be a hero? Or can everything be a hero nowadays? What is next? Anyone who goes to work is a hero? I call that the worker hero. They are just lowering the word hero to the level of worthlessness.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

people astound me... wouldnt the money spent in court be much better spent on making a game people might actually want to play? but i guess thats what game companies do when they run out of ideas.. they sue everyone

necronaux
necronaux

DJ Hero? Really? Bottom line... it's a video game about playing records. Come on.

halobro
halobro

wow, i don't really see what the fuss for first release is and activisions need to buy them out. Introducing DJing into the music genre market is inovative but realistically who can enjoy playing it. The hop hip industry isn't exactly booming (except for the USA). Sso if you make games with songs most gamers haven't heard of, who will buy i? Secondly, how bizzare id scratching in the format of guitar hero, i don't want to be a cynic hero here but this game isn't looking like a hit like GH or RB was.

neonfrax2
neonfrax2

I giggle at this game, but am simultaneously drawn to play it. Hopefully a demo will be at PAX 2009.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

What a waste of time... like two maggots fighting over the same piece of garbage.

azn_strider
azn_strider

In addition to "substantial damages" and a return of its assets, Genius and Numark sought a restraining order against Activision's release of DJ Hero so Scratch could retain its "'first to market' status." Um...anyone wanna tell these guys that there is already a DJ simulator with a turn table controller out? Anyone remember Beatmania?

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

lay off the DJ's jeez who looks like a wifebeating hick with nail extensions and lipstick... im lookin at you cid007

nappan
nappan

"djman24us Posted Apr 16, 2009 8:08 pm ET They should make a Scratch and Sniff game...." They do. It happens when you Scratch a disc that you're in the middle of playing, and you start to cry and Sniffle. Smells like sadness and interuppted fun ;)

Koi-Neon-X
Koi-Neon-X

Congratulations on the victory Activision! now to get to work on some GREAT games. DJ Hero?! for those looking forward to it -good for you- but, I'm interested in something else.

MoK86
MoK86

yeah well CID 007 seems like a jerk i mean look at your self trying to dress up like a comic persona? LAAAAAAAME! im a DJ and im not a dumb jerk. hmm well screw NUMARK i have those decks and im not happy with the quality i wish i could get rid of mine and get some technics. pssst ACTIVISION go in talks with TECHNICS there better.

polodoro
polodoro

I think activision is at fault here seeing as they are the major publisher. There must be some merit to these accusations. What? Do you really think they just expected that everything would work out?

cid_007
cid_007

In this case DJ stands for "dumb jerks"!

magicalclick
magicalclick

7 Studios would not sell if they don't want to. You can only buy something that's for sale. The proper way to sue them is to sue 7 Studios for breaking the contract.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@AlexandLandon Oh that's right, I forgot about that. Well, it's good to hear Activison's in ok hands (I guess, still miffed at them for screwing with James Bond though). But still, I'm not hyped for DJ Hero at all in my opinion, no offense to those who are.

robfield
robfield

I don't care about either of these games and I doubt many other gamers do...please get this over with and make games we care about.

FLYEboi50
FLYEboi50

well...activision kinda did a bs move right there, just so dj hero can come out first. but i really don't blame Genius for filing their lawsuit. activision was wasting time trying to make more gh's(gh:smash hits) for more money anyway, instead of working on dj hero. then once someone else started making a dj rythym game(scratch:the ultimate dj) & had a playable demo before activision did, activision goes and buys the company thats making the game and slows work on the game(which was under a contract for production). i believe that just about sums up the story, but don't hesitate to correct me if im wrong. My opinion: BUT scratch:the ultimate dj doesn't sound all that great IMO. If DJ hero & Scratch came out at the same time, my money would be going towards DJ hero anyway. I trust the people that could make a good guitar rythym game over any other company that just tries.

Azwethinkweiz89
Azwethinkweiz89

This just in...Activision has just bought out the L.A. Superior Court. Try suing them now haters :P

djman24us
djman24us

They should make a Scratch and Sniff game....

Ospov
Ospov

Activision...so dumb

athenian29
athenian29

Activision is foul, imperialistic and greedy. I feel sorry for Infinity Ward and Blizzard and all the other great studios that are stuck with them. Activision: ****-in' on the little guy. Bonus points if you can guess what movie I just quoted in that last sentence. Make your reply an "@athenian29" so I get a message. And also... Is anybody even going to play this? Anybody?

ropumar
ropumar

Only the restraining was considered out of merit. But the breach of contract is valid and Genius should get its assets back.

Windblade91
Windblade91

this is how it went down 7 studios rolled random 100 - 1 Activision Blizzard rolled random 100 - 100 gg

otanikun
otanikun

So somehow, someway Activision dodges the proverbial bullet yet again. We already know that Scratch has been delayed for a multitude of reasons, but to incite that they are trying to use that an excuse to get back at Activision is just wrong, and that's just low. But since the acquisition of of 7 Studios the game has been halted period and no information yet has been given as to why Activision bought the company out other than to halt production on the competing game series.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

I think people are getting pretty burnt out on these music games. I would be afraid that a game like this would have some pretty horrible music with it like light dance remixes of popular main stream songs. Nothing a real dj would ever bother with.

nappan
nappan

As PhilWil92 says, this isn't game-over, this as just a hearing for a temporary injunction. Denial of that injunction does give an indication of how the judge sees the relative strengths and merits of the cases... :)

PhilWil92
PhilWil92

So they're is no retraining order. That's what the whole article was about. Well there is still more to the case. Let's see how it turns out. I hope Genius get their assets back at least.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Wow that was fast. But I don't think Scratch is going to sell well anyway although it does sound like it would be cool to play, but only if it's done right.

AlexandLandon
AlexandLandon

@nintnedoboy16 Actually Konami and Activision are on good terms. Unlike Harmonix, Activision paid Konami to use their patents when they made GHIII. They recently teamed up to make an arcade cabinet of Guitar Hero.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

I don't know guys, although the court rules for Activision, I think I see Konami on the way for a lawsuit over this. *takes cover in a bunker in case it does happen*

KSA_BOI
KSA_BOI

hhh A DJ Game ! .........

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

That was a very quick ruling! I expected this to be dragged out for months/years before news. I guess it still isn't over though....

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

At this point Scratch: The Ultimate DJ should probably be scrapped altogether... with the 'Hero' brand name backing an offering, regardless of features at this point, Scratch isn't going to sell...