Suit settled over Brutal Legend game

Activision Blizzard Inc. has given up on its effort to block competitor Electronic Arts Inc. from releasing the heavy-metal music game Brutal Legend, which stars Jack Black.

A person familiar with the settlement, who declined to be identified because the terms are confidential, confirmed to The Times that the game would be released in October, as EA, of Redwood City, Calif., had previously planned.

Santa Monica-based Activision sued the game's developer, Double Fine Productions Inc. of San Francisco, in June, alleging that it still owned the rights to Brutal Legend after merging with its former publisher, Vivendi Games. Double Fine has contended that Activision declined to publish the game and thus the developer was free to shop it elsewhere.

The settlement came together after an L.A. County Superior Court judge said July 30 that he was strongly inclined to rule against Activision's motion to stop the game's release, the source said.

A final hearing, in which the judge was expected to rule, was set for Thursday. That hearing was canceled late Wednesday.

"We have settled the lawsuit," confirmed Activision spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif. "However, the terms are confidential."

It appears likely that Activision received little or no compensation from Double Fine and agreed to a settlement to avoid losing in open court.


For The Record Los Angeles Times Wednesday, August 19, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 2 inches; 80 words Type of Material: Correction Video game settlement: An Aug. 7 article in the Business section about Activision Blizzard Inc. reaching a Superior Court settlement with Double Fine Productions Inc. over Electronic Arts Inc.'s planned release of Double Fine's video game Brutal Legend said that Activision probably received little or no compensation and may have settled to avoid losing in open court. The Times had no knowledge of the settlement terms and should not have speculated on the amount paid or the motivation for settling.
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