A game developer is suing singer Beyoncé Knowles for putting a ring on a dance game and then abandoning it.
One of the most successful genres in the videogame industry’s new motion-based initiative is the dance game. Titles such as the Wii’s Just Dance and Michael Jackson: The Experience have sold like gangbusters, prompting other stars such as Destiny’s Child group member and solo artist Beyoncé Knowles to try to throw their hats into the ring. Knowles was going through the motions to create her own dance game, but may not have followed through, and is now being sued for more than $100 million for the damage she allegedly caused.
A game developer called Gate Five filed a lawsuit in New York this week against Knowles for irreparably damaging the company’s business and causing a loss of millions of dollars. Gate Five says that Knowles signed an agreement to star in a title called Starpower: Beyoncé, which would have had players dancing along to the singer’s music through motion-based devices such as the Wii or Kinect, but then dropped out.
The lawsuit claims Knowles “made an extortionate demand for entirely new compensation terms” in the middle of development, which caused an investor to back out. During the week of Christmas 2010, Gate Five founder Greg Easley says Knowles told him: “That’s it, I don’t want to hear from you guys, go away.”
This reportedly resulted in the developer’s 70 employees losing their jobs as they no longer had a project to work on. “We’d much rather make a game than litigate,” Easley added. “But we want to recover damages that Gate Five suffered.”
The figure of $100 million is said to be the projected amount of profits that Gate Five estimated to earn from Starpower: Beyoncé, while it may have lost around $7 million from the investor that backed out. It sounds like an exorbitant amount of money, but it’s not that far-fetched when considering the popularity of motion gaming and dancing to songs such as “Jumpin’ Jumpin.”
Source: New York Magazine