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Activision To Sue EA Over Publishing Rights To Brutal Legend?

If Tim Schafer is at the helm, we're automatically excited. And we've been excited ever since the announcement of his new Brutal Legend game, in development at Double Fine Productions. But who's going to publish it...? Well, that may be a battle fit for HBO.

The promising title has already had a roller-coaster ride. Schafer and Double Fine found a willing publisher in Vivendi Games in 2007, but as most of you know, the game became one of the casualties when Vivendi merged with Activision. So Brutal Legend just started floating around, until EA supposedly jumped in and snapped it up. But now, according to a recent Variety update, Activision is threatening to level a lawsuit at EA if they don't give up the game. Sources close to Activision said the publisher believes EA's deal is "invalid;" even though Activision passed on the title in question, they still think they have the publication rights. If this seems a little strange to you, you're not alone. EA finds the situation plenty laughable, too. Said an EA source:

"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."

There must be some other detail we're missing, because in just looking at this information here, we have to side with EA. If Activision passed on Brutal Legend and never had any intention of putting it out, how the hell do they have publishing rights? We know the game was cut loose after the Activision/Vivendi merger, which means it was a free agent, right? EA took it...what more is there to say?

Related Game(s): Brutal Legend

2/14/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

CaptRon
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 11:15:15 AM
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What are they gonna do, Would you wanna deal with EA's lawyers. I sure they have a small army

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fundando
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 11:20:13 AM
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That does sound ridiculous. YOu abandoned it get over it.

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city96
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 11:32:50 AM
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That quote is basiically saying that EA is better than Activision
"and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy."

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bamf
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 10:28:42 PM

Exactly what I thought when I read it.

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Akuma07
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 12:01:47 AM

i doubt thats what was ment.

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Jed
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 7:20:10 PM

I'm positive that is not what he meant to say.

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Naga
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 11:33:52 AM
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Activision: The new EA

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Cpt_Geez
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 11:36:29 AM
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Yeah that kinda shade tree there.

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LightShow
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 12:03:44 PM
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XD oh activision, you crack me up.


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tramp
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 12:16:32 PM
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there must be a missing piece,or they just forgot their meds.

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Robochic
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 12:20:16 PM
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this is confusing! must be missing piece. i don;t this is the end of this story.

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DeadReaper
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 12:45:23 PM
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This is what is wrong with the legal system these days, everybody thinks they can sue over anything. "Oh you looked at me crosseyed, I want $10 million". This all started with that fat kid trying to sue McDonalds for getting fat. Back to the point, as the article says, maybe we dont have all the details. Maybe this title is creating alot of buzz and now there upset they let it go.

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Lemon_Saint
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 1:32:22 PM
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In the entertainment industry, (let's say, music), If a band signs on with a label, records an album with that label, and before releasing the album, the label cuts the band from their roster, who owns publishing rights to the music? Unfortunately, the label does, even though they won't put it out. The band actually has to get PERMISSION to release their own songs on another label, (permission=money).

So with this example, how is Activision in the wrong? Yes, the situation sucks, but, they DO have publishing rights to the property because of the Vivendi deal .... Hopefully, this all gets worked out soon. I can't wait to check this out.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 6:53:21 PM

If anything aren't they then guilty of selective prosecution? No lawsuit for Atari after they picked up Ghostbusters and there were a few other saved casualties out there too, but only EA (their closest competitor gets sued) if I were the judge it'd be thrown out immediately.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 2:41:37 PM
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lol...

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KevinCairo
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 2:52:10 PM
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It's stupid, but so are many lawsuits. I wouldn't be surprised if they could win it, but I wouldn't be shocked if they didn't either.

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isaya85
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 3:04:22 PM
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I would rather EA publish it anyway IMO EA is the better company

PSN ID Biggest_GMoney

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ps92117
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 3:32:50 PM
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I thought activision no longer existed after blizzard merge?

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 6:54:48 PM

The company is now known as Activision-Blizzard. (I prefer Blizzivision or even Actizard)

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 6:48:35 PM
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Blizzivision: "We have decided to take the "EA approach to publishing success". We're going to do a ton of stuff to piss off consumers and in theory make a ton of money. We have already made a good start what with the feud between our two internal Call of Duty developers (Infinity Ward and Treyarch). We are quickly running the Guitar Hero franchise into the ground. And we think this law suit is the next logical step in our quest for market domination."

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SarahPalinMILF
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 10:41:35 PM

Are you sure you're not a rep for Blizzvision because thats pretty much whats going on...

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BTNwarrior
Saturday, February 14, 2009 @ 11:35:49 PM
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Guess activision didn't anticipat all the free advertizing that Jack Black was throwing out

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Wage SLAVES
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 4:06:23 AM
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Imma buy this game now. I hate dead beat dad's!!!

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Break_The_Mould
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 6:29:13 AM
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well this screams 'Watchmen'...
Hope all this legal rights BS gets sorted soon. Activision didn't wanna pursue brutal legends, but now a moneymaking opportunity has popped up it's suddenly the hot game worth suing over?
Absolute BS.

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LightShow
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 12:53:12 PM
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its strange how big publishers are under the assumption that their dealings are totally opaque, and that everyone doesn't know exactly what they're up to.

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shaydey77
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 3:53:34 PM
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if they sue them EA will EA still publish the game? Sueing over rights to a game you already passed on..lifes too short.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, February 15, 2009 @ 4:11:14 PM
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Activision is just upset that lately the game is getting some good press and they already passed on it.

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Tatsujin
Monday, February 16, 2009 @ 9:38:38 AM
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Wait... I read this article over and over agian but this is the problem; Did Activision ever say that they will not publish the game? Because technically it's still theirs, and even if they didn't want to publish it, they do still have the rights. There was a contract made before Activision decided to merge with Vivendi. EA can't just jump on and make a new contract without Activisions involvment, because that contract is still probably valid.

I think Activision still has the publishing rights to the game...

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Arvis
Monday, February 16, 2009 @ 1:13:22 PM
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I wonder how many video games exist that have the word "Brutal" or the word "Legend" somewhere in the title.

Can't the industry come up with better names than this? Just hearing the name makes me want to fall asleep.

-Arvis

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