Activision filed suit against Brutal Legend developer Double Fine on Wednesday in an attempt to stop the release of the action-rocker later this year.
Harsh words were passed between rival mega-publishers Activision and Electronic Arts earlier this year. The topic wasn't which company has the better looking CEO (gotta go with Riccitiello, frankly), but Tim Schafer's upcoming metal-themed action game, Brutal Legend (umlaut omitted).
Acti-Blizz had implied that it would sue EA if they didn't drop their publishing rights for the game, to which EA responded with some brutal trash talk: "We doubt that Activision would try to sue. That would be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy." Well Activision yesterday did file suit, but it's not against the better looking guy. It's against the wife.
The suit, filed on Wednesday against developer Double Fine, claims that Activision still has a valid contract to publish the game, and had invested $15 million in it, and Double Fine wronged them when they transferred the publishing rights from Activision to Electronic Arts.
Activision claims that it put $15 million in funding for the game, but Double Fine missed a crucial deadline last year and then asked for another year and $7 million to finish the game.
After that, negotiations between the two companies allegedly fell through, and, presumably Double Fine flocked to other shores. Activision, however, says that they never relinquished their rights.
The company claims it suffered "irreparable harm" from this, and point out that if the game's release isn't halted, they'll lose any opportunity to publish the title and sell DLC.
Double Fine has said in the past that they own the rights to Brutal Legend, and after their partnership with Activision ended, they could shop around their product to any interested parties.
If this seems nonsensical to you based on the fact that Activision seemingly were the ones who didn't want Brutal Legend to begin with, you're not alone. It doesn't make much sense. Think like a mega-corporation though, and it might be a little bit clearer. Activision don't want Brutal Legend back, they might just want a little slice of the Brutal Legend pie. Jack Black flavored pie. Mmm!
UPDATE: Tim Schafer himself has responded to news of the suit, and he says this:
"Hey, if Activision liked it, then they should have put a ring on it. Oh great, now Beyoncé is going to sue me too."
This guy is always on.