Court says "nein" to JoWood bankruptcy

Austrian publisher rebuffs attempt by Stargate SG-1 developer to have it declared insolvent, but future of game is unclear.

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Earlier this month, Austrian publisher JoWood saw one of its more promising projects thrown into turmoil. That's when the company decided to end its agreement with Australian developer Perception to develop Stargate SG-1: The Alliance, based on the sci-fi television series. Perception retaliated with action in the Austrian courts, where it petitioned to have JoWood--which is in the midst of financial restructuring--declared bankrupt.

This week, a Vienna judge dismissed Perception's petition. According to a statement from JoWood, this was done on the grounds that "Perception itself has admitted that the delay of the game delivery was also caused by the failure of Perception although JoWooD has already paid the undisputable amount of EUR 5.5 Mio." For those unfamiliar with central European abbreviations, that's 5.5 million euros, or $6.87 million.

But while the ruling is clear, the future of Stargate SG-1: The Alliance is not. On August 5, JoWood claimed that it is the sole rights-holder to the game and had taken possession of all its source code and assets. But just one week later, Perception put out its own press release, saying it is "the official licensee of MGM on Stargate SG-1: The Alliance" and that "any suggestion that JoWooD has rights to Stargate SG-1: The Alliance upon termination of the contract is incorrect and not based on commercial or legal fact." Perception also said it was continuing work on the game unabated.

With the very completion of Stargate SG-1: The Alliance now up in the air, its American release is most definitely in limbo. It was slated to be distributed by Namco this fall for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2.

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