Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dick move of the week

While we should all be enjoying the news coming out of E3 this week about new technology and new games, one company instead decided to pull a crappy move worthy of Satan in order to piss in someone else's donuts.

The company I am talking about is, of course, Activision-Blizzard. As the story goes, Activision (before their merger with Blizzard) were due to publish the upcoming Tim Schafer game Brutal Legend. Since Tim Schafer is kind of a big deal, as this is the guy that made Psychonauts, all of the good games in the Monkey Island series, Day of the Tentacle and others then his next project was something many were interested in.

Fast forward a few months to Activision merging with Blizzard and deciding to take stock of their (now enormous line-up of) titles. They went on to announce that several titles due to be published were instead being dropped. The most notable of these titles were Brutal Legend and the new Ghostbusters game. Well instead of throwing in the towel (as apparently Activision would have preferred) Schafer's Double Fine Productions shopped around and eventually Electronic Arts decided to pick up BL and there was much rejoicing.

Now cut to just a few days ago, mid-E3 '09 to be exact (nice timing on that btw Activision, since everyone who was even remotely interested in E3 is now talking about this) and Activision announced that it was suing Tim Schafer and Double Fine for "selling rights to Electronic Arts that belonged to Activision", i.e. claiming that Activision still retained the publishing rights to BL.

Apparently the entire world just collectively imagined Activision passing on the rights to BL. That or we all fell into some Fringe-like parallel dimension, evidently one where down is up and the sky is green.

Plenty of people have spoken out about this already but I'm going to add to it: this is a dick move of dick moves and disingenuous to the (previously) good name of Activision-Blizzard. Throwing a hissy fit because you passed on something that now looks like it's going to make a not-inconsiderable amount of money for its new publishers and then trying to make a money-grab to cut yourself in for some of it (because that's what this amounts to) just makes you look stupid.

As Tim Schafer himself was quoted as saying:

"Hey, if Activision liked it, then they should have put a ring on it," adding "Oh great, now Beyoncé is going to sue me too."

to which there is really no response because he is 100% correct.

Hopefully EA and Double Fine will have the balls to go ahead with the planned 13th October release of BL and will resist the efforts of Activision to get paid for something they are not entitled to.

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