Scratch Publisher Sues Activision

| 14 Apr 2009 23:01

Genius Products, the publisher of DJ game Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, have sued Activision, alleging that the company is trying to sabotage the release of their game. Begun, the DJ Game Wars have.

Genius and Numark Industries, the two companies publishing and manufacturing the game and peripherals for the upcoming Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, are suing Activision for allegedly trying to hinder the release of their game. Activision, they say, have engaged in "intentional interference with contract, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets."

That's the gist of it. Here's where it gets confusing: Genius/Numark are suing 7 Studios, the company contracted to develop Scratch, as well. That's because, after a trouble-filled development period during which Genius claims it did its best to bail 7 Studios out of financial trouble, Activision made an offer to buy the game from Genius, and 7 Studios too. When Genius rejected what they claim was an unfair offer, Activision acquired 7 Studios, and is now using them to "impede the remaining work required by 7 Studios on the game in order to keep the game from being completed and going to market as scheduled," namely, before DJ Hero.

According to Genius, Activision wasn't exactly civil when it came to its interactions with Genius, either. "Scratch as an IP has no value because no one knows what Scratch is," Activision's Greg Deutsch is alleged to have said on a phone call. He added that if Genius tried to come at Activision they'd be running into a "legal buzz saw" and that unless Activision got Scratch, it'd never "see the light of day."

Even after Activision scooped up 7 Studios, Genius says it attempted to negotiate continuing their partnership. 7 Studios, however, was now asking for "commercially unreasonable" terms and more than twice the development fees. So Genius decided to take its IP and finish development itself. However, they allege that 7 Studios has been unwilling to hand over current builds of the game and in-progress prototypes of the Numark-designed turntable and beat button controllers.

[Via Gamasutra]

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