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Author Topic: Activision: Brutal Legend is ours. EA: Activision is a jealous ex-husband.  (Read 6335 times)
Lard
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« on: February 14, 2009, 03:17:08 AM »


Think the drama over "Brutal Legend" is over? Think again.

It turns out that Activision Blizzard is under the impression it still has publishing rights to the game. And it’s threatening to sue developer Double Fine and new publisher Electronic Arts as a result.

(Some background for anyone who hasn’t followed this whole drama for the past year: Double Fine, developer of the critically acclaimed but underperforming “Psychonauts,” set up “Brutal Legend,” an action game set in the world of heavy metal that stars Jack Black, at Vivendi Games. Then last year Vivendi Games merged with Activision to form Activision Blizzard. The newly merged company, led by Activision execs, declined to pick up a number of Vivendi’s projects, including, it appeared, “Brutal Legend.” Then in December, Electronic Arts announced that it had reached a deal with Double Fine and would release the game next fall.)

Now Activision Blizzard has written a letter to EA (and possibly Double Fine) informing them of its legal concerns. According to two sources familiar with ActiBlizzard’s position, the publisher believes that it was still in negotiations with Double Fine and that the EA deal is invalid.

Does that mean ActiBlizzard wants “Brutal Legend” for itself? Nope. I’ve been told it doesn’t think the game has the potential to be the kind of mega-profitable, “Call of Duty”-size franchise that it looks for these days.

So what does it want? A good guess would be money in exchange for giving up its publishing rights. That is what it received from Atari for “Ghostbusters” and “The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena,” for instance.

Double Fine’s position, however, appears to be that it owns the rights to “Brutal Legend” and that somehow in the merger process, whether because there’s no longer a Vivendi Games or because the original fall 2008 publishing date passed and Activision didn’t express interest in finding a new one, it's allowed to find a new publisher.

An Activision Blizzard rep declined to comment. But EA has responded with its claws bared, giving me this rather pointed response:
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.

Me-ow.

http://weblogs.variety.com/the_cut_s...exhusband.html

So...Activision can fuck right off. Talk about slimy. Go EA!
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Losfer
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 09:48:02 AM »

Yeah, this story made my stomach churn.  That's downright greasy of Activision.  Jesus, you gave up the rights, so fuck off.

Downright greasy.
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Lard
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 01:59:52 PM »

LOS ANGELES -
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200906...legend_lawsuit

Activision is suing to stop the release of the Jack Black video game "Brutal Legend."

Activision Entertainment Holdings sued game developer Double Fine Productions in Santa Monica, Calif., on Wednesday. The lawsuit claims that Double Fine transferred rights owned by Activision to Electronic Arts, which plans to release the game later this year.

Activision claims it still has a valid contract to release the game and has invested roughly $15 million in it.

Phone and e-mail messages left for Double Fine and Electronic Arts representatives weren't immediately returned.

"Brutal Legend" features Black as a heavy-metal roadie transported to a mythical world to fight evil. It's been heavily promoted at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Wow. Just wow.
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Eusis
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 02:44:49 PM »

Way to fuck up E3 you assholes! Christ, someone needs to throw them down from the top like they did to EA.
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 02:51:23 PM »

Did they decide to sue before or after the game got such a good reception at E3?
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Lard
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 02:54:02 PM »

After.

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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 11:44:57 PM »

Isn't this the same bull puckey they pulled with Ghostbusters?
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Eusis
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 11:54:22 PM »

Isn't this the same bull puckey they pulled with Ghostbusters?

No actually, they seemingly sold that off fairly peaceful. This is more like Watchmen, except probably a bit of a stronger case since it was in the last few years and actually using the money invested in it, whereas Watchmen was just bullshit about the rights. Activision still sucks though, but I imagine they're planning for (and will probably get) a settlement. Which I can't be TOO upset about since I don't want to wait even longer on the game, and anyways if they simply got back the money Sierra invested it'd be more or less fair.
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 06:58:45 PM »

That shit had been going on for quite a while, no? Anyway, asshole move by Activision, but as far as we know, it's unlikely that they'll win their case.
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Eusis
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2009, 07:07:48 PM »

What I'm hearing doesn't have me too optimistic that Double Fine would absolutely win if this were carried through fully, as it's pointed out contracts will have loopholes for situations like this. Even if Double Fine were to win though, it'd probably delay the game and I would pretty angry about having to wait longer for bullshit like this. I'm willing to bet EA will jump in and a settlement of some sort will be reached to make sure the game releases on time.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2009, 02:13:36 PM »

Honestly, Jack Black has been on the ass end of practically everything he's been in... I can't say I'm a huge fan except for when he's just playing music and writing lyrics. Half of me wants Double Fine to move on to a more worthy project.
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Eusis
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 03:55:11 PM »

Honestly, Jack Black has been on the ass end of practically everything he's been in... I can't say I'm a huge fan except for when he's just playing music and writing lyrics. Half of me wants Double Fine to move on to a more worthy project.

A single actor invalidates the whole thing and makes it 'unworthy'? Are you fucking insane?
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Lard
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 09:25:19 PM »

Honestly, Jack Black has been on the ass end of practically everything he's been in... I can't say I'm a huge fan except for when he's just playing music and writing lyrics. Half of me wants Double Fine to move on to a more worthy project.

Pish posh.

He grates on me as well, but I actually have warmed to the idea of him as the main character in this.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 10:45:10 PM »

A single actor invalidates the whole thing and makes it 'unworthy'? Are you fucking insane?

Well, isn't the whole thing based around him? I mean, obviously I would be fucking insane if Jack Black were playing a side character the way Seth Green did in Mass Effect... but isn't this being touted as a "Jack Black game"?
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 10:46:57 PM »

Probably mostly because he's as visible as he is. I bet Mass Effect would be billed as "Seth Green game" if he voiced the lead, even if he didn't actually have much influence. Everything I've read makes it sound more like something Tim Schafer himself wants to make, not something that they're making for Jack Black or anything.
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