Activision Sues To Stop Brutal Legend Release

By Alice O'Connor, Jun 04, 2009 7:19pm PDT Update 2: Further AP details reveal more of Activision's complaint. The publisher claims Double Fine was paid $15 million to develop Brutal Legend but missed a key deadline last year, allegedly stating that another nine months and $7 million were needed.

While no agreement to get Brutal Legend back on course was ever reached, Activision contests it never gave up publishing rights and as such Double Fine could not take the game to EA. Activision bemoans the loss of its investment not only in Brutal Legend itself, but the ability to sell seemingly lucrative Legend-based downloadable content.

Update: The official Brutal Legend Twitter received a simple update, since removed:

Re: today's bummer news...in the words of the inimitable Ms. Beyonce Knowles, "If you liked it you shoulda put a ring on it".

Original story: Activision is suing Double Fine Productions to stop the release of Brutal Legend, The Associated Press reported, claiming it still holds a valid contract to publish the heavy metal fantasy and has invested roughly $15 million in it.

The dispute stems from Brutal Legend's troubled history. Activision declined to acquire the game's publishing rights from Vivendi when the two merged in July 2008. EA picked up Brutal Legend that December, and planned to release it on October 13 this year.

Reports emerged in February that Activision believed it was still in negotiations over Brutal Legend when EA picked up the title, and was considering suing. An EA representative responded at the time that it would "be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy."

EA and Double Fine Productions have yet to comment, but we'll keep you updated.

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  • I'm sure it's complicated and involves a lot of lawyers poring over contract clauses. I have to believe that neither Double Fine nor Activision would be stupid enough to do something blatantly in violation of contract. And of course EA would never get involved with a publishing contract without some background checks first.

    So, it's probably going to come down to finger-pointing and nit-picking over tiny random details. And then eventually there will be some private out-of-court settlement agreement and everyone will move on after agreeing to disagree over the contract interpretation.