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Activision Sues Double Fine Over Brutal Legend Release

Publisher Activision is suing developer Double Fine to stop the release of the studio's upcoming, now EA-published action game Brutal Legend. [UPDATE: Tim Schafer responds.]

Kris Graft, Contributor

June 5, 2009

1 Min Read

Activision is suing developer Double Fine to stop the release of the studio's upcoming Jack Black-starring game, Brutal Legend, according to an AP report. Filed on Wednesday, Activision's complaint claimed that the publisher currently maintains a valid contract to release the high-profile title. Activision also claims it has invested $15 million in the game, and still owns the rights, despite the fact that EA has said it will be publishing the independently-developed title. The company also claimed that Double Fine did not deliver the game on time, and that the studio requested nine additional months and $7 million more to complete the game, which EA plans to release in October. Brutal Legend was caught up in the merger between Activision and Vivendi Games, which was announced in 2007. Vivendi subsidiary Sierra was going to publish the game, but when Activision reviewed the Vivendi portfolio, it did not express interest in publishing Brutal Legend. At the time, Activision also dropped Ghostbusters, which Atari has since rescued. A report emerged in February this year suggesting that Activision was considering seeking some form of compensation related to Double Fine's relationship with EA. An anonymous EA employee at the time expressed doubt that Activision would sue. "That would be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy." [UPDATE: Double Fine founder Tim Schafer's official response to the suit, according to game weblog Kotaku? "Hey, if Activision liked it, then they should have put a ring on it," Schafer said. "Oh great, now Beyonce is going to sue me too."]

About the Author(s)

Kris Graft


Kris Graft is publisher at Game Developer.

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