Activision Threatens EA For Agreeing To Publish Game Activision Dropped

from the once-it's-dropped,-it-stays-dropped,-dammit dept

Reader Nick sends in the news of a story that reminds us of The Watchmen saga, whereby Fox got paid for doing nothing, while Warner Bros., who made the movie and took on all the risk, had to pay out. In this case, it involves a video game, Brutal Legend. The game was developed by a development studio named Double Fine, with an agreement by Vivendi Games to publish it. However, after Vivendi Games and Activision merged, the combined company decided to drop a bunch of projects, including Brutal Legend. So, Double Fine did what any development house would have done: went in search of another company to publish it. And it found one, in gaming giant EA.

Except, now, Activision has sent a nastygram to EA saying that it still owns the rights to publish Brutal Legend, and EA is infringing on those rights. Of course, Activision has still made it clear that it actually has no intention of releasing the game, which doesn’t match with its current focus. Instead, this is a pretty clear money grab — trying to get EA to pay up. EA seems to have a good response, though:

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.

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Companies: activision, double fine, ea

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Comments on “Activision Threatens EA For Agreeing To Publish Game Activision Dropped”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Must be a left-wing, liberal, Obama-mama conspiracy. All of the teachers, journalists, game-developers, iPod-carriers, all of them — left-wing, liberal, socialists, trying to take this country away from the right-wing, corporate-nanny, consumer-hating Nazis. HOW DARE YOUR OPINION DIFFER FROM MINE!

Just thought I’d throw that in — before someone else does.

About Time says:

“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.”

I love it! Between this and the RedRag story, it looks like the good guys are finally starting to make a stand.

Now… if we can only get a modern day tea party going regarding our (US) slip into socialism… Any ideas?

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Tea Party

Yeah, all of those are pretty stupid ideas. Good way to crash the economy in a hurry. Plus, they all address fairly legitimate taxes while ignoring the one ridiculous one: income tax. Cut off all those other taxes, and what do you think the government will do to income tax? Lower it? Gimme a break. Huckabee may have been a bit nuts in a lot of ways, but his tax plan was the best idea I’ve seen from a politician in, well, forever.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Tea Party

Really? Perhaps some constructive points instead of “you’re stupid” would give you a wee bit more credibility.

The points in the article he linked to basically revolved around “don’t buy stuff, and don’t make any money.” You don’t see how that might have a negative effect on the economy, which revolves around both?

Second, it doesn’t solve the problem. The real problem is that willingness of the government to take your money and spend it. Get rid of wasteful spending (which encompasses a LOT more than just a silly project here or there), and that is an actual solution. Get involved and fight silly bills and projects. Go to work against the source of the problem. But, if you think that following the points in that article will actually make the government stop taxing, you are incredibly naive. They will just find other ways to get the money. In the end, income tax is the one place where taxes are completely involuntary and the government can dip in and take as much as it wants. If you cut off they’re other sources of revenue, expect to see income tax skyrocket.

I mentioned Huckabee simply because I agree with his philosophy of eliminating involuntary taxes, such as income tax and property tax, and raising voluntary ones, such as sales tax. Yes, it would crush the exconomy short-term, but the long-term benefits would be worth it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Tea Party

Thanks wifezilla.

That’s good stuff, but I’m thinking a more proactive approach is in order. Why should we have to “hide” from the government’s BS. We all forget that those douche bags work for us, not the other way around.

How about this. We all take a year’s worth of tax money and instead of paying the gov, we dump it in the San Franciso Bay. Then all the politicians and freeloaders can dive in after it. At least they’ll earn it.

And why San Francisco Bay? Sharks of course.

Spread the word of this glorious event. Viva la revolution!!!

PS, this is still on topic, right?

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


While I usually hate EA in general, I would side with them on this. I think their response is pretty funny too, so they get some points for that.

Taking a wider view, allowing such actions like Fox & Activision are pulling here creates a very very bad incentive in the marketplace.
It is saying that the large publishing companies can go around and sign every single deal they want to, and then just drop all of them they do not feel like releasing.
Then when somebody else likes the idea and goes to publish, they will get paid because they signed the initial agreement. Talk about horrible incentives. EA is very very much so in the right side on this, from just about every possible view (except maybe a poorly written law or the greedy jerks who stand to benefit).

Anonymous Coward says:

Divorce, what's that?

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.

More like the separated wife marrying a new husband without bothering to first get a divorce. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there may actually be laws against that sort of thing.

latoya shuck says:

To go with the anaolgy, I don’t think it would be so likely for the husband to sue the better looking guy. It’s a clear cut battle of egos here. Activision simply wants the right to maybe sometime go back to the old project, even though it prob wont. And when that prospect is threatened, AV feels insecure and frightened. Funny how personal dynamics are reflected in the corporate game development world.

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