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Activision Settles Guitar Hero Dispute With Former Producers

RedOctane parent Activision has settled its lawsuit against former Guitar Hero executives, John Tam and Corey Fong, securing an injunction against the duo from creating instr

Jason Dobson, Blogger

April 3, 2007

2 Min Read

RedOctane parent Activision has settled its lawsuit against former Guitar Hero executives, namely executive producer John Tam and brand manager Corey Fong, banning the duo from creating instrument-based rhythm games for the next year. Activision's lawsuit, filed earlier this year, accused both Tam and Fong, along with hardware group member Jamie Yang with “copyright infringement, trademark infringement, misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, and more.” According to a new report by major consumer website GameSpot, both Tam and Fong have consented to a court issued permanent injunction. In addition to not being able to develop “drum-, guitar-, or synthesizer-based games” for the next year, the pair have also been ordered not to distribute a demo that they had created for a new rhythm game that reportedly featured elements from both Guitar Hero and freeware PC dance game StepMania. In addition, both Tam and Fong have been ordered not to create a guitar controller for the Xbox 360 for six months following the new release of the Guitar Hero II for the console, nor are they permitted to develop any sort of peripherals that could be seen as competing with those released by Activision until a period of six months have passed following their commercial release. Tam and Fong, along with Jamie Yang, recently founded a new company with peripheral maker The Ant Commandos (TAC), referred to as both Lodestone Entertainment and Hourglass Interactive "to compete with Activision using Activision's confidential and proprietary information." In addition, the complaint also called out PR firm Reverb Communications, which formerly represented RedOctane and Guitar Hero, as defendants in the original suit. "Lodestone intended to target a confidential and proprietary Activision corporate opportunity for the Guitar Hero franchise involving a certain confidential third party that was known to Tam and Fong by virtue of their employment with Activision," read the injunction. "Tam, working with Fong, directed an Activision employee and Activision independent contractors to develop, at Activision's expense, a demo of Defendents' game..." Interestingly, while Activision has now apparently resolved its dispute against both Tam and Wong, no settlement has been reached with former RedOctane hardware group member Yang, The Ant Commandos, or PR firm Reverb Communications.

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