Black Collar Workers

IF YOU’RE EXCITEDLY WAITING FOR THE RELEASE OF BRUTAL LEGEND, YOU MAY HAVE TO WAIT A LITTLE LONGER

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A lot of you have e-mailed us over the past few weeks to express excitement for the October release of the metal-themed video game Brutal Legend (trailer above), which stars the voice of Jack Black as as “a heavy metal roadie who is transported to a mythical ancient world where he is called upon to fight evil.” Or something.

As far as I can tell, the excitement for the game comes from a) Black’s participation and b) the fact that there’s going to be a metal game that isn’t a rhythm game (e.g., Guitar Hero).

Unfortunately, Variety reports that a lawsuit might hold up the release of the game:

Activision has filed a lawsuit against videogame developer Double Fine Prods. that may prevent Electronic Arts from releasing “Brutal Legend” in October.

The videogame publisher claims that Double Fine missed a key deadline for “Brutal Legend” last year during its development and then set up the game with rival EA when it needed $7 million more and an additional nine months to finish it.

But Activision said in a lawsuit filed in the Santa Monica Courthouse, that it had never relinquished the rights to the game, in which it had already invested $15 million to develop. It also wasn’t paid back any money Double Fine was given to produce the game.

Company will suffer “irreparable harm” and lose not only sales from the game but also revenue from downloadable content, in-game advertising, merchandise and other opportunities if the release isn’t stopped, Activision said in the filing.

Now, this is not dissimilar from the lawsuit Fox filed against Warner Bros. prior to the release of the Watchmen movie this year, and this suit seems kinda similar; basically, one company dropped the ball on a property, another company picked it up, and now that said property looks to be very, very profitable, the original company wants a slice of the pie.

But Fox basically won their lawsuit, settling out of court for a nice chunk of change, and the Watchmen movie came out at its scheduled release date. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar outcome in this instance.

But just in case, maybe my fellow gamers should find another toy to get excited about for the fall.

-AR

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