Harmonix Sues, Settles with Activision Over Guitar Hero Royalties

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Harmonix has hounded Guitar Hero publisher Activision for missing royalty payments to the tune of $14.5 million.

Viacom subsidiary Harmonix Games recently filed a $14.5 million lawsuit against Guitar Hero franchise owners Activision for unpaid downloadable content and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock royalties. The threat of a lawsuit scared Activision enough to bring them to the negotiation table, where they are now settling the issue out of court.

The suit, which was filed at the California Superior Court in Los Angeles, claims that Harmonix’s original deal with Red Octane and Activision granted them a royalty rate twice as high as they were receiving if any sequels to their Guitar Hero game “incorporates, uses, or is derived from Harmonix property.”

The filing claims that, “[Activision] has failed to pay Harmonix its full share of royalties earned in connection with Harmonix’s essential and undisputed contributions of its intellectual property and technology to the bestselling video game Guitar Hero III.”

Without these payments from Activision, Harmonix believes its losses “will mount at the rate of tens of millions of dollars per year.”

Activision has countered, stating that it has paid all that is required of them.

General Counsel George Rose remarked, “Activision believes it has made sufficient payments to Harmonix and the claims otherwise do not have merit.”

Source: Variety

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