DJ Game Lawsuit: Scratch DJ Publisher Sues Activision, Claims Conspiracy

By Nick Breckon, Apr 14, 2009 4:28pm PDT The war over the lucrative music game genre escalated today, with the publisher of Scratch: The Ultimate DJ suing DJ Hero publisher Activision and Scratch developer 7 Studios over "intentional interference with contract, breach of contract, conversion and misappropriation of trade secrets."

Publisher Genius Products and peripheral manufacturer Numark Industries are claiming that Activision recently purchased Scratch: The Ultimate DJ developer 7 Studios in order to benefit its own upcoming DJ title, DJ Hero.

The suit alleges that Activision and 7 Studios "conspired to withhold the current version of Scratch in an effort to delay the development and release of Scratch and to gain access to proprietary technology."

Scratch explains its version of events in a release:

Prior to undertaking these wrongful actions, Activision approached Genius with an offer to acquire Scratch. The offer was rejected. It is alleged that Activision then commenced the process of acquiring Genius' contract developer, 7 Studios, while under a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement with Genius. It is also alleged that after Activision acquired 7 Studios, the two companies began conspiring to prevent Scratch from getting to market on a timely basis by withholding work product, code and the proprietary game controller.

"We believe that Activision and 7 Studios have improperly used confidential information obtained from Genius and 7 Studios to interfere with our efforts to complete the game," said Genius president Trevor Drinkwater. "In short, we believe that Activision is attempting to sabotage the release of our much anticipated game and prevent it from getting to market prior to the release of DJ Hero."

Shacknews has contacted Activision for comment on the matter.

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