PS3 News: Activision and 7 Studios Lose in Scratch DJ Case - PS3 News

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Activision and 7 Studios Lose in Scratch DJ Case

Last week we found out that the guys behind the upcoming Scratch: The Ultimate DJ game were suing Activision and its subsidiary 7 Studios, stating that they had planned to sabotage the development of Scratch in order to prevent it from being legitimate competition to Activision's upcoming DJ Hero game. Allow me to break this fiasco down before I continue, it's a little confusing.

You see, 7 Studios is owned by Activision, now. But not too long ago, they were on their own. When they began developing Scratch for Genius Products (publishers and creators of Scratch), Activision approached them both and offered to buy out the rights to the game, only to be declined. Clearly worried that Scratch DJ may find itself establishing a fanbase before DJ Hero gets a chance, Activision went and bought out the developer 7 Studios, instead.

This takeover essentially allowed Activision to delay Scratch, but preventing its now-employees from working on the game, like they were originally contracted to do so by Genius. And so Genius Products sued both 7 Studios and Activision on the grounds that the companies conspired against Genius Products in order to prevent the release of Scratch, and protect the future of Activision's upcoming DJ Hero game. Genius also sued to be given the code that 7 Studios worked on and did not finish, as well.

Well, the case ruling occured and the plaintiff wins this case, and 7 Studios was forced to hand over all intellectual proerty and assets related to Scratch: The Ultimate DJ over to Genius Products, which includes every bit of development code and resources 7 Studios has put together. Additionally, a temporary restraining order was placed against 7 Studios and Activision Publishing. Furthermore, an injuction ordered against 7 Studios seals their mouth and prevents them from communicating to Activision or any other third party, regarding the development, secrets, and information related to Scratch: The Ultimate DJ.

Definitely a victory for the good guys. We have to say that we are very disappointed in the corporate practices of Activision. Competition is healthy, stop being such babies.

Related Game(s): Scratch: The Ultimate DJ

4/21/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (27 posts)

jaybiv
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 4:42:39 AM
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Wow, the little guy won. Good luck with the game.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 4:53:35 AM
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It proves that you "CAN" fight city hall!
KUDO'S

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 5:28:29 AM
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Greatness! 'Bout time

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Sir Shak
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 5:49:40 AM
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Scratch DJ sounds much cooler than DJ Hero .

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www
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 5:58:29 AM
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Correct me if am wrong,but does Arnold have his own article thumbnail pics that differentiates his from Ben's.
Since yesterday,it's been new colorful pics on psx.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 11:03:23 AM

Arnold likes to make a funny.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 12:18:21 PM

We all share the same index of shots. I just prefer to get a little crazy and funny with mine. :p

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 7:10:27 AM
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Does this matter? What, are they going to sell like 12 copies of this game?

Why is this even a game? Why are all my comments a question?

I have another great idea for a game...wait for it...Professional Painter. You choose the colors and pick your brush or roller and GO! Which room will you paint first....it's Smock-Awesome.

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JofaMang
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 11:47:11 AM

Scratch Enthusiasts have been waiting for this game (or one like it) for a long time. Sure, it won't sell like the GH/RB games, but those of us who want it are DYING for it.

Much like JRPG enthusiasts: kind of a rare bread, to be honest.

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 12:20:42 PM

Yes...it's a rare niche field. That's my point.

How does a company think they are going to sell enough copies to cover production costs?

I don't know one person that would want to be a pretend "DJ". I don't get it.

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coverton341
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 12:24:28 PM

Timster I take it you have never laid the wax to a table and had a good time making a mix. While that fact is obvious and it is fine that you have never mixed records before, I find it a bit obtuse of you to belittle something you have no point of reference to. I for one have done DJ work in the past, and I am looking forward to a game that captures that. I may buy this, I may buy DJ Hero it just depends on which one is more authentic. So, yes this game will sell to a niche market, but that is no reason to bash it. All games are a way for people to have fun. I don't have time to be a "real" DJ anymore so being a "pretend" one would allow me to do it for fun at a convenient time without the hassle of lugging a coffin around.

Last edited by coverton341 on 4/21/2009 12:26:33 PM

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 2:04:45 PM

Sorry, I don't want to sound like I'm "bashing" a game but I want to know how, financially, this game makes sense.

Production costs are outrageous these days and devs don't take many chances with new IPs.

How do you profit?? Keep production values low...then the game looks like junk. Have a small team work on it....then it takes years to make and will be outdated when released.

Sell a half-million copies....how when it is a specialized field that is not widely popular.

Last edited by Tim Speed24 on 4/21/2009 2:05:47 PM

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 3:10:36 PM

12 copies? I'm going to have to disagree. The club, trance, house, techno freaks out there are going to eat this up, especially the wannabe DJs who attend a club every other day of their life. I imagine this genre of music games being very popular overseas in Europe.

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556pineapple
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 4:05:01 PM

I see timster's point, it's not going to have as wide of an audience as Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but I'm going to have to agree with the others. Obviously the companies did market research that indicated the game would be able to make profits for them. If it hadn't, they probably wouldn't have even considered it. I for one, am not the DJ type (quite the opposite actually, I'm more of a vinyl collector myself and can't stand the thought of scratching a disc), but that's the fact that makes me curious in at least trying the game out. If I like it enough, who knows, maybe I'll buy it. Even though you may not be interested in the topic yourself, there must be plenty of other people who are, otherwise Activision at least would not even consider making it.

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Oyashiro
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 4:08:52 PM

JRPGs are not a niche field in America. Not since the PSX era. It only seems niche now because we have quite a few companies bringing over unknowns that don't sell well regardless.

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Wolfmaster
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 8:24:59 AM
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Hey Arnold this was the story on N4g PS3 News from N4G | Scratch: The Ultimate DJ
Activision has fired back at Genius Products after the publisher accused it of attempting to sabotage the development of Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, a rival to DJ Hero.

Earlier this week, Genius and Numark jointly filed legal action against Activision and 7 Studios, the contract developer hired to create Scratch: The Ultimate DJ.

Genius and Numark alleged that the pair had conspired to prevent the game from getting to market prior to the release of Activision's DJ Hero by withholding code and a proprietary game controller after Activision acquired 7 Studios in early April.

"Yesterday, the L.A. Superior Court found that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by Activision and refused to grant any restraining order against Activision," said the DJ Hero publisher in a statement.

"These allegations are nothing more than an attempt by Genius to place blame for the game's delay, as well as to divert attention from the cash flow, liquidity and revenue challenges Genius detailed in its March 30, 2009, SEC filing. By their own admission in October 2008, the game had fallen behind in production, which was well before Activision had any involvement with Genius, Numark or California 7 Studios regarding the game.

"Activision purchased 7 Studios on April 6, 2009 to bolster its development capabilities. 7 Studios had continued to develop Scratch: The Ultimate DJ and Activision did not interfere with or delay their efforts to complete the game. In fact, Activision provided the fledgling developer with much needed financing during these difficult economic

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Wolfmaster
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 10:16:43 AM

sorry arnold.. just saw the story on Gamespot, which backs you up.
So which can you belive? Gamlespot or N4G.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 12:17:41 PM

That was last week. This latest ruling is the current situation. The transcript from the ruling also states that the judge did not believe a conspiracy was occurring, but did believe that 7 Studios and Activision were in the wrong.

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JofaMang
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 9:30:24 AM
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No matter what is actually going on, I am guessing I wont be playing my beloved Scratch based rhythm game this summer.

And that sucks.

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Naga
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 10:43:54 AM
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EA "cough" I mean Activision got pwned

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 11:03:08 AM
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Who says conspiracies aren't alive and well in the game industry?

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556pineapple
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 12:44:27 PM
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The "Hero" part of the title only works with "Guitar" before it. But didn't Activision register other names like "Sing Hero," "Band Hero," "Keyboard Hero," "Drum Hero," "Trumpet Hero," "Lute Hero," "Washboard Hero," "Kazoo Hero," etc.?

Last edited by 556pineapple on 4/21/2009 12:47:58 PM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 1:54:47 PM

And let's not forgot....
"Flatulent Hero XIII": Farting to the oldies.

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PANICinc
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 12:51:22 PM
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You know, both games sound gay as all hell!

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 2:06:41 PM

That's what I'm thinking.

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Oyashiro
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 4:10:15 PM
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... People where looking forward to this game?

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JofaMang
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 @ 8:26:15 PM
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I know I have been looking forward to it. I am a scratch enthusiast, as well as an amateur turntablist. Not every music fan requires guitar and drums to get into the groove.

Scratch has a strong cultural history, and is a skill set that cannot be denied. Just because you don't dig it, doesn't mean everyone is just like you.

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