Judge puts off Brutal Legend decision

Activision's motion to prevent release of Double Fine Productions' game will go another week without an answer, but judge says he's inclined to side with San Francisco-based developer.

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Double Fine Productions will have to wait at least another week to find out if its Jack Black-starring action game Brutal Legend will be able to make its scheduled October 13 release.

"Activision tried to destroy The Metal..."

The Associated Press is reporting today that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has put off a decision on whether or not to prevent the release of the game while an Activision lawsuit against the developer plays out. While the judge said he's inclined to allow the game to launch as planned, he wanted to give both sides a chance to make their case on the matter.

The legal tiff began at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June, when Activision filed a lawsuit to prevent the release of Brutal Legend. Activision claims that even though it declined to release Brutal Legend after merging with original publisher Vivendi Games, it never lost the rights to put the game out. As a result, Double Fine wouldn't have been free to shop the game around and secure the help of EA Partners in preparing Brutal Legend for its currently scheduled launch.

Earlier this month, Double Fine countersued, accusing Activision of unlawful business practices and trying to prevent the game's release to thin out potential competition to the publisher's own Guitar Hero franchise. The countersuit mentioned an aborted attempt to make Brutal Legend an extension of the Guitar Hero franchise, and said Double Fine's continued existence hinged on the game's successful release.

A formal ruling on Activision's motion is expected August 6.

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