The stories for this week:
- Activision Sues Double Fine over Brutal Legend
- EA Hires Dante's Inferno Protesters for E3
- Monkey Island Being Redone in HD, New Game Coming
- E3 Already Has Dates for Next Year
- Prototype and Others on Tap This Week, E3 Prediction Outcome
Activision Sues Double Fine over Brutal Legend
In the waning hours of E3 this week, Activision decided to follow through on its promise from four months ago and formally sued Double Fine to halt the release of Brutal Legend on October 13th. Although they have no plans to publish the game, they still believe they have publishing rights to the game even though Electronic Arts snatched it up when the game was supposedly in play to be purchased.
The lawsuit claims that Activision (well, actually Vivendi before it was merged with Activision) paid $15 million to Double Fine to develop the game and then Double Fine asked for another $7 million and nine months to finish the game. One would guess the second part of this came up when Activision was going through Vivendi’s properties and deciding what to keep and what to drop. They went on to relinquish games like The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Ghostbusters to Atari (who are now in dire straights as well, having to sell the publishing rights in Europe to Sony and a PS3/PS3 exclusivity over there) as well as games like 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand. However, for some reason they still have a hard on with Double Fine and their game.
There are different sides to this argument. Double Fine may never have gotten a clear “we no longer have the rights to this game, feel free to shop it” from Activision, but then the question is why didn’t Activision send a Cease and Desist to Double Fine when they knew they were shopping around (where it ended up landing at EA, Activision’s mortal enemy for the most part)? Activision may also have realized what a mistake they made letting it go and are trying a desperate play to get some money from Double Fine and/or Electronic Arts (although they are supposedly not named in the suit).
The most hilarious part to me is these quotes from the AP article below: “The lawsuit states that Activision has suffered ‘irreparable harm’ and will lose not only the game, but also the ability to sell downloadable content based on ‘Brutal Legend’ if the release isn't stopped.” Yeah, “irreparable harm” to the #1 third-party game company. They were also the ones that said they dropped the game initially because it didn’t have a “franchise” mentality like many of their other games in-house. Oh well, should be interesting to see. My best guess is that Electronic Arts will pay Activision off with a reduced payment, but who knows. I just hope this doesn’t affect the release because from what I saw on G4 of the game live it looked REALLY good.
EA Hires Dante's Inferno Protesters for E3
Activision was not the only major publisher to do something stupid from a gamers perspective. Their mortal enemy, Electronic Arts, added to the stupidity as well. You may have heard on Wednesday that there was a group called SAVED (Salvationists Against Virtual and Eternal Damnation) that was protesting outside the Los Angeles Convention Center about EA’s upcoming game Dante’s Inferno. Well, some places picked up that it might be a PR stunt and EA confirmed that it was on Thursday. Pretty stupid if you ask me and is close to being those dumb PR things Acclaim used to run in Europe (i.e. name you baby Turok and get something…and this is a lighter PR stunt from back in the day).
Monkey Island Being Redone in HD, New Game Coming
In better news, the original Secret of Monkey Island is being totally redone into an HD presentation for release on XBLA and PC this summer from Telltale Games and LucasArts. Also the series shall continue in a 5-part episodic game called Tales from Monkey Island from Telltale also starting this summer on PC and WiiWare. I have to say the original is just one of those special kinds of adventure games and overall the series itself is fantastic. It was released in the heyday of adventure games from LucasArts and Sierra, so sad that those days are long gone.
Source: Colony of Gamers
E3 Already Has Dates for Next Year
This came into my Inbox at my Colony of Gamers address hours before this year’s E3 was completed. For the first time in 3 years, the ESA has already set the dates for the next E3. This of course means they and their publishing members must have decided this year’s E3 went pretty well and they should continue on again. The dates next year will be June 15-17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. From everyone I’ve heard who went (I wanted to, but things just didn’t work out), this year’s E3 was much like the last big one: E3 2006. So, it seems the old type of E3 is back and, hopefully, better than ever.
Source: Colony of Gamers
Prototype and Others on Tap This Week, E3 Prediction Outcome
Wallet is at threat level red if you are interested in Prototype and sports this week. If you’re only interested in the first, then it may be threat level yellow. Yes, this is the week of Prototype, the anti-hero superhero game from Radical Entertainment and our favorite publisher right now, Activision. Before I go into the other games this week, I want to point out to all PS3 owners out there that there is an excellent superhero game already out for it called inFAMOUS. I recently reviewed it for Colony of Gamers and found it to be a fantastic game. Prototype will have a hard time equaling or surpassing it, but I’ll give it a chance.
Other games out this week include Tiger Woods 2010, which includes a WiiMotion Plus controller on the Wii version for $10 more (pretty good deal since it is sold separately for $20). Also, Grand Slam Tennis on the Wii (also includes the WiiMotion Plus) and Virtua Tennis 2009 (the Wii version can use the WiiMotion Plus). Also of note is Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings on Wii, PS2 and PSP. The last game may or may not be good, really haven't heard much about it other than it is not on the 360 and PS3.
Now for my E3 Predictions, here they were from last week:
1. Alan Wake will finally be shown, hopefully get a release date (TRUE, Spring 2010)
2. Splinter Cell: Conviction will be nothing like it was originally (TRUE)
3. Assassin's Creed 2 will get at least a month, if not day of release and will be playable on the floor (in a contained area of the game so as to not allow spoilers) (TRUE)
4. Uncharted 2 will get a release date and more details will be given out (remember, the beta starts while E3 is going on June 3rd) (FALSE, no date given)
5. Bungie will most likely show off something else outside of ODST...will they finally break away from Halo as they have promised? (TRUE, Halo: Reach)
6. No new systems will be announced outside of the rumored PSP revamp (TRUE)
7. Microsoft will show off some surprises since they really haven't announced anything lately (TRUE, Crackdown 2, Left 4 Dead 2, etc.)
8. Nintendo will give into the hardcore in their presser after they were barbequed last year...or they'll still sit on their perch and present a stupid presser, you never know...but sales are down (Somewhat TRUE)
9. This is the year of the racing game. FUEL, Split/Second, Blur, a new Burnout, Forza 3, GRID 2, NFS revamp, etc. (TRUE)
10. God of War III will be given Game of the Show by many outlets and will get a February 2010 release date. (Don’t know on GotS and I was off by a month, it is coming March 2010)
8 out of 10 isn't so bad, and I was close on the other two.