Beyonce sued by game dev for $107 million

Small shop Gate Five claims it was working on a music game based on pop diva until she suddenly left the project, causing layoffs and financial woes.


Singer-actress Beyonce Knowles-Carter has appeared in various forms of media, from recorded music and television specials to feature films. Now, according to a court summons obtained by New York magazine, the pop diva was also planning to appear in a video game modeled on her prolific career.

 Beyonce may soon have to sing her tune in court.
Beyonce may soon have to sing her tune in court.

According to the summons, which was filed with the New York Supreme Court, independent game developer Gate Five is suing Knowles-Carter--referred to as Ms. Carter in the complaint--for $6.7 million in investments in a game called Starpower: Beyonce. The summons accuses her of entering into a "services and exclusive license agreement" on June 15, 2010, to make the game.

Then, according to the summons, "Though she had already negotiated lavish compensation terms to which she was contractually bound, Ms. Carter, at a crucial moment in the project's development, made an extortionate demand for entirely new compensation terms she suddenly wanted. When her maneuver backfired and drove away the financier (who found Ms. Carter too erratic to do business with), she pulled out the project in breach of the Agreement."

As a result, Gate Five contends that Knowles-Carter "destroyed Gate Five's business and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas." The developer also contends "her actions were so unscrupulous that her then-manager (who is also her father) renounced them, while a senior executive of the company that had agreed to finance the project condemned her conduct as 'morally reprehensible' in an e-mail he sent to one of her talent agents."

In addition to the $6.7 million in development costs, Gate Five is also asking for $100 million in profits it contends it would have earned had the game come to market. The largely unknown dev is also asking for an injunction preventing Knowles-Carter from "commercially associating with any other video game" or exposing any confidential information she acquired during the Starpower: Beyonce development process.

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