Activision sues over Brutal Legend - Report

E3 2009: Publisher taking developer Double Fine to court over EA Partners game it passed on after Vivendi Games merger; Tim Schafer offers lyrical response.


LOS ANGELES--This week's Electronic Entertainment Expo was supposed to be a sort of coming-out party for Double Fine Productions' Brutal Legend. The game is set to complete its rocky road to release with an October launch, and publisher Electronic Arts has been promoting it heavily at the show. It dedicated a portion of its press conference to the game and plastered a massive Brutal Legend banner over the front of the Los Angeles Convention Center's South Hall.

Time for a legal power ballad...
Time for a legal power ballad...

Activision is looking to crash that party. The Associated Press reports that the Tony Hawk publisher filed suit against Double Fine in a Santa Monica court yesterday to prevent the game's release. According to the news service, Activision is claiming it still has the rights to release Brutal Legend, even though the game was among a slew of titles dropped by the publisher last year in the wake of its merger with Vivendi Games. The publisher also noted that it had invested roughly $15 million in Brutal Legend, according to the report.

The lawsuit isn't entirely surprising. Activision had threatened such a move in February, according to a report in Variety. At the time, an unnamed EA source told the trade magazine, "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."

Representatives with Activision and Electronic Arts had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

[UPDATE]: Double Fine president Tim Schafer passed the following comment on to GameSpot: "Hey, if Activision liked it, then they should have put a ring on it. Oh great, now Beyonce is going to sue me too."

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