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Harmonix Brings $14.5M Royalty Suit Against Activision – Sort-of

Categories: Controller CasesRoyalty Disputes

Harmonix is the developer of the first two wildly successful Guitar Hero video games – originally published by RedOctane. In June 2006 Activision purchased the publishing rights to the franchise from RedOctane and Harmonix, which was subsequently purchased by MTV, went its own way and developed Guitar Hero. Activision-owned Neversoft has since taken-up the development of Guitar Hero sequels.

Harmonix claims that under its original agreement with RedOctane (subsequently assigned to Activision), it is entitled to a higher rate of royalties, amounting to $14.5 million, for the use of its intellectual property in Guitar Hero sequels. Harmonix claims that Activision has paid royalties based only on a prior lower rate.

Viacom (the parent of MTV and Harmonix) has reportedly withdrawn the suit for now. The companies have agreed to continue discussions outside of court.

Dale’s Comment: I could not find the text of the claim online. If I do, I will attach it to this post.

Sources: Variety | Gamasutra | GameSpot | Wired Blogs | CutScene | ars technica | GameSpot | Spong | Kotaku | Game Informer | gameindustry.biz

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