Report: Activision, EA feuding over Brutal Legend

Double Fine Productions' Brutal Legend will tell the story of rock roadie Eddie Riggs' trip to hell, but ultimately the legend in the making may be the game's absolutely brutal path to release. Coming off 2004's commercially disappointing Psychonauts, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer endured a...

Double Fine Productions' Brutal Legend will tell the story of rock roadie Eddie Riggs' trip to hell, but ultimately the legend in the making may be the game's absolutely brutal path to release.

Coming off 2004's commercially disappointing Psychonauts, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer endured a "demoralizing" pitch process before finding a publisher for Brutal Legend--Vivendi Games--in 2007. However, when Vivendi Games merged with Activision, Brutal Legend was among a host of anticipated titles that the new megapublisher had declined to handle last July. That left Electronic Arts free to sign the game to its EA Partners program late last year, or so everyone thought.

According to a Variety report, Activision is threatening to file suit against EA over Brutal Legend. Sources familiar with the Call of Duty publisher's position on the matter told the Hollywood trade paper that Activision believes the EA deal is invalid. While Activision passed on Brutal Legend and had no plans to ever release the game, the company reportedly thinks it retained the publishing rights regardless.

As for EA's position on the matter, Variety quotes a source as saying, "We doubt that Activision would try to sue. That would be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy."

This mess aside, Brutal Legend is still expected on store shelves later this year.

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214 comments
zaveline
zaveline

How is this related to guitar hero seriously activision made some good games *Prototype* but the This being a GH Sequel? How is that even possible and how is this related!? god dammit Activision you suck Guitar Hero Games are overrated and made too many and the company is total BS why did you have to do this

geoff-uk123
geoff-uk123

This game looks pretty good, but with a situation like this, it will probably never be released. What the hell, Activision?

PyroPice
PyroPice

@ simons world, LOL youve been gone for a couple of years havent you? EA =on the downslide (losing stock often and for a large period of time) Acti-Blizard has much much more money than ea does at this point (and is worth much more as a company as well)

El-Llamita
El-Llamita

@Simonsworld: Quick history and logic lesson. A: A publisher DO NOT create or develop games. They just PUBLISH it, which means they put the dough. It is actually the DEVELOPER's job (in this case Tim Schafer's Double Fine) to DEVELOP the title. It's also the Developer's job to find a publisher willing to pay and release their game. B: Paying for (you don't really need to be very creative to pay for things) Brütal Legend wasnt even Activision "idea". They bought Vivendi, which had the rights, under the condition they didn't had to pay for BL. In my hood that means not caring, and i kinda live in the real world. Under Activision's control, BL wasn't developing. C: EA took over the project and PAID (That's actually all a PUBLISHER does) for the publicity, etc that were needed to get the word out that the game was as great as it is, which costs money. D: Conclusion: Activision was NEVER (as in from the start) interested in BL, didn't put a cent into it, was going to let the project die along with DF efforts and now want the credit (Read free bucks). Yeah right. E: You an A-hole

tomjacobs
tomjacobs

DPhunkT: You obviously have never played a game made by Tim Schafer.

DPhunkT
DPhunkT

Why feud over what seems to be a crappy game?

peetowser
peetowser

Transcript of a fantasy meeting at Activision... : "-Well now that the game has gotten publicity and the buzz has started going, why don't we just pretend this game is still ours... Think of all the PR money EA saved us... We could market this game and be sure to make a profit now... -Yeah, I mean who cares right, dumb gamers still think we are the innovators behind GH after all! -And Schaffer will probably come back thanking us on his knees, and beg us to take his sorry behind back! That'll show that idiot what we do to people bringing fresh and original IPs trying to make us some money..."

simonsworld
simonsworld

hello tehundeadhorror (creepy) yes they dropped it,but EA making out it there creation,thats my point and another thing tony hawk? wtf you dumb? EA skate game erm hello! and tony hawk was the original it has yearly up dates yes, but with EA everygame has an yearly update! i had tiger woods 2008 on pc and it had same sound files off the 2004 game, a fact which many sites (gamespot,ign,games rader.com) are aware of, so yea activison dont steal they create, you played COD 4 modern warfare last year? think again please

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

Lmao good quote EA, and Activision, you guys suck. Big time. @simonsworld EA didn't steal this idea, Activision dropped Brutal Legends and weren't even going to release it so EA picked it up. All Activision do year after year is exploit age old IPs like Tony Hawk, I mean have you noticed how many Guitar Hero games they've been pumping out ever since they took control? Sure it's not bad but it's not exactly good.

eetkatz
eetkatz

I don't care who publishes this game, just get it done and give it the treatment an original work of art deserves. ...and no censorship.

simonsworld
simonsworld

Its all political nonesene,so heres an political response EA gonna win, because they richer, and have massive gaming economic pulling power,but i personally want activison to win, they done some wonderful things in the last 7/8 years.And just for the record this isnt the first time EA stole ideas from other companies, remember that simspons game based on a GTA style? well you do now!

blueness
blueness

I've yet to play a game as amazing as Grim Fandango. A few games have come close, Starcraft, Civ2, Final Fantasy X... but nothing as good yet. Brutal Legend may be that game, may no one try and stop it from landing on my store's shelves...

XanderZane
XanderZane

They dropped the game and the developer, so how can they sue? I'm confused on this. Do they still own the publishing rights or do they lose that when they release the developers from their contract with them?

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

So, Activision openly admits they don't want to publish Brutal Legend, but still (in their minds) own Vivendi's original agreement with the words they'd publish it somewhere in there. Obviously, I don't know the language used, but you'd think being taken over would null the contract, or even refusing to honor it when they announced what they'd be adopting. But now Acti is saying the contract (they refused to honor) is still good and locks them as the publisher, and therefore with the right to keep anyone else from publishing it. Good show EA, for standing up to Acti's drivel. I wasn't expecting you to seal your position with such a clever burn. Well played, indeed!

PS2Fan4Life30
PS2Fan4Life30

Activision are jerks, they gave up the rights to publish Brutal Legend and now they want to sue EA? The only reason they want to sue is to cash in, they see all the publicity that EA is creating for the game and now Activision wants in. Well sorry Activision your a day late and a dollar short. You have no rights to this game, so let me put it another way you snooze and you lose, making Activision a big loser. It's a good thing Sony owns the Ghostbusters IP or Activision would be suing Atari over it. And to those who have never heard of Tim Schafer and Double Fine before Brutal Legend, go out and buy or rent Psychonauts. Psychonauts is one of my absolute favorite games of all time and the best of the last gen. It kills Jak and Daxter and to me anyway is better than Ratchet and Clank. So do yourself a favor either download Psychonauts off of the Live Marketplace or go to your local video store or games store and buy or rent it, it is a must play before Brutal Legend comes out.

jknight5422
jknight5422

That's ridiculous. Why should Activision care? All they're doing is trying to sink a team of individuals out of having a job.

ecs33
ecs33

I can't believe Activision is actually trying to pull a quick on like this. It would be valid if it was their idea. Did they ever have publishing rights to this? Can someone clear up the confusion. There's gotta be a reason why Activision is pursuing this. If they had no reason to then surely their executives would know that all this is doing is making them look desperate and giving them negative rep.

Draknahr
Draknahr

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

ecs33
ecs33

@ Draknahr: Yeah I just read that. For some reason I missed it in the first read through. In that case Activision is def in the wrong.

Draknahr
Draknahr

Activision did NOT come up with the idea for this game as it already states in the article. It was created by Double Fines' Tim Schafer who shopped it around to Vivendi. Do you guys even bother reading these articles?

ecs33
ecs33

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

ecs33
ecs33

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

King_Jeremy_77
King_Jeremy_77

Maybe Activision shouldn't have dumped the title in the first place...tards!

conan6980
conan6980

This must be the new "in" thing to do now. First Fox passing on The Watchmen, seeing it might be a blockbuster, then suing because they own the rights even though they clearly had no interest in it. Now, Activision is doing the same thing with Brutal Legend--passed on it, now is seeing it might actually be a good, original game and now they want in on the cash-cow.

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

Oh c'mon, pull this crap with any other game but this one. I really hope this game doesn't keep getting delayed because Activision and EA can't play nice. Also seems like a pretty lame move on Activision's part. Now they want it back or at the very least, keep the IP rights.

The_Owner
The_Owner

For once I think we all have a reason to be on EA's side for this one.

Paladin_King
Paladin_King

this honestly sounds a lot like the lawsuit going on with regards to the Watchmen film, if anyone is familiar with that. It's just a case of Activision wanting a pay-out. It's not like they actually want the right to ensure that the game never comes out, they just want cash from it....even though they declined the project. Thus, i doubt they'll win much if anything at all.

_AbBaNdOn
_AbBaNdOn

Activision screwed up twice. #1 by merging with a crap company like vivendi. #2 even hinting at not wanting to support Brutal Legend. So screw them, see them at the unemployment lines.

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

'That would be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy'. LOL. Good call.

snake289
snake289

Activision are idiots they're the ones who dropped the title then they're acting like they never even did for once I'm with EA on this one Activision = stupid

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Its about time someone sued EA. Does not matter if its valid or not, they should have been sued after those PS3 "games" they shipped in 2007.

leimeisei
leimeisei

I hate activision. They're so full of themselves and most of the time their games aren't that good. The last good game I've seen from them (that I know of) was Call of Duty 4, and thats just because they had Infinity ward as their dev team on that one. Can't stand COD5. I'm taking EA's side on this issue.

fynne
fynne

This is weird. If Activision passed on the game how could they still think they can publish it? That would mean that Schafer would be forbidden from making HIS own game. That would be pretty disgusting if true.

Gunface1011
Gunface1011

They're just angry because they overlooked what will hopefully be a smashing success...

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

come on Activision. don't be sour. you willingly gave it up.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

hopefully this won't delay the release of this game, i would like to see some more footage on it, to get a feel, for it, but it still seems like it's a good game, activision on the other hand might be biting off more than they can chew going after ea, but as long as the game gets released, honestly, who really cares? i don't think brutal legends sales could compete any other of the activisions titles, but we'll see...

carneyfolk
carneyfolk

I havent liked activision since GH2...i hope they end up looking like fools trying to fight EA.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

I despise Activision.....and ea....but activision more as of late.

jadefury27
jadefury27

Great analogy used there! lol. activision is just crying sour grapes because they now are starting to realize that they passed on a great game. hell the person who made the call to pass on this title has probably never picked up a tim schafer title in his life. for the first time in a while, good job ea!

burns112233
burns112233

"We doubt that Activision would try to sue. That would be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy." lol I agree though that Activision is just being stupid.

maxsteel86
maxsteel86

Also EA's response to Activision's stupidity was just plain funny! Not a big fan of EA but heck that made me lol

maxsteel86
maxsteel86

Stupid Activision, this is exactly the same stupid reason why Stargate was cancelled. If you have no intention of publishing it, why prevent someone else from doing it?! This is just a case of being an evil, mean little ***. They wont be making money from this, but they dont want anyone else to make money from it either. Jerks

WasntAvailable
WasntAvailable

If they are not willing to publish the game how can they retain the rights when they did not buy them? Surely if they are unwilling to do anything with the rights that they did not create then they are no longer entitled to those rights.

Ashki
Ashki

@ imjustjames: Yeah, and quite frankly, I don't blame EA for making that burn. Activision didn't want the game, so they dropped it, and when they saw someone else wanted it, and the publicity that it was getting, well, they don't want that cause Bobby Kotick is an bunghole. Personally, I feel kinda dirty for saying it, but I'm siding with EA on this, and I hope that they win. Once Brutal Legend comes out, Activision guaranteed a purchase due to their stupid antics.

bassmaniac20005
bassmaniac20005

"We doubt that Activision would try to sue. That would be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy." I lol'd