Atari Labels Dungeons & Dragons Lawsuit 'Frivolous'

By Chris Faylor, Sep 03, 2009 11:46am PDT In what is bound to be an ongoing case of "he said-she said," publisher Atari has fired back against the $30 million lawsuit from Dungeons & Dragons Online maker Turbine.

Atari labeled the lawsuit, in which Turbine accuses Atari of fraud and extortion, as "frivolous" and filed a motion to dismiss the suit, along with another complaint to "recover monies owed to Atari resulting from an independent third party audit of Turbine."

In last week's suit, Turbine said Atari's claim of being owed more money was "unfounded." The entire affair centers around the Dungeons & Dragons license, which Turbine sublicensed from Atari so that it could create D&D Online. That game has since spawned a free-to-play iteration, with Atari supposedly prepping a new D&D MMO.

Atari's complete response, which the company provided to Shacknews, follows:

Last week, with no warning, Turbine filed what can only be viewed as a frivolous lawsuit against Atari. This action can ultimately do a great disservice to D&D fans and to the MMO community at large. Turbine's actions also appear intended to divert attention from the contractual obligations that Turbine owes to Atari. In response, today Atari served a motion to dismiss the entirety of Turbine's lawsuit. Atari also filed a separate complaint to recover monies owed to Atari resulting from an independent third party audit of Turbine. While Atari hopes for a quick and fair resolution, it remains fully committed to the D&D communities worldwide and will vigorously protect the franchise and its own integrity in this matter.

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  • Turbine originally made a game that didn't match up to the hype, quality or expectations of gamers that were paying $15 a month for things like WoW, EverQuest (1+2) and EVE Online.

    They made a niche off the people who loved D&D. Like myself.

    And because of the failure, they turned it into a Free To Play Item Mall game. Where in the new DDO:E.U. Beta they claimed the item shop prices would be close to what they'd be like at release, they more then DOUBLED the prices of some gear.

    I beta tested the original and there was not a day that passed in the first Closed Beta tests that someone wasn't posting "This is like Guild Wars, so make it free". Let's also not forget that they took alot of the development force and put them into LoTRO during that time.

    A few years pass, Atari sees that the game is failing and so it's becoming a F2P model. Even with positive reviews on the "relaunch" as it were... the company sees a dated product that let them down.

    It's only natural to look elsewhere, at a company with more income and development experience... when you're creating a new game, like the rumored Neverwinter Nights MMO that Cryptic may be working on.

    I HATE Atari with a bloody passion. But I have to back them up on this. Turbine is embarrassing themselves professionally, with this petty lawsuit garbage.