Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gibson Expands Guitar Hero Suit to Include Harmonix, MTV, Game Retailers

Gibson, attempting to put pressure on Activision to settle...err, I mean, protecting its intellectual property, has decided to expand its recent Guitar Hero-related patent infringement suit to include Harmonix, MTV Games, and Retailers. Gibson claims that they are just protecting their intellectual property and that their good faith efforts to settle have been rebuffed by the defendants.

Gibson Trolls More!

I do not buy Gibson's reasoning at all. They are trying to force settlement by interfering with Activision's relations with other business partners. Everyone wants a piece of the Guitar Hero pie; Activision even went as far as to say that they thought Gibson was just dissatisfied that Activision was not renewing their licensing contract. Welcome to the world of business!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Harmonix Files, Then Quickly Withdraws, Suit Against Activision Over Royalties

Harmonix, creators of the Guitar Hero series, filed and then withdrew a suit against Activision, current owner of the Guitar Hero franchise, regarding payment of royalties. Under their agreement, there were two tiers of royalties payment, with the higher rate being used if a subsequent GH game "incorporates, uses, or is derived from Harmonix property." Harmonix believes that GH III does in fact use H's property and as a result, they think they are entitled to the higher rate; the difference between the lower and higher is about $14.5 million. The suit was filed Monday, and withdrawn Tuesday; discussions are to be continued out of court.

Everyone's Gunning For Activision

Activision sure has its hands full these days. Like Biggie said, "Mo Money, Mo Problems."

Activision Takes Gibson to Court Over Guitar Hero Patent

Activision has begun litigation against Gibson to settle whether the Guitar Hero franchise is infringing against Gibson's patent for a "technology used to simulate a musical performance." Activision is seeking a judgment to remove Gibson's claim for licensing fees. It is interesting that Activision and Gibson are already partners, with Gibson supplying the designs for GH's guitars. Activision thought it had its bases covered by purchasing or licensing many patents already before the release of GH III. Oh! It looks like one of Gibson's periscopes is just peeking its head out of the water right now!

Gibson wants a bigger piece!

This case just goes to show how hard it is for a successful video game company to navigate the patent waters - Gibson's U-Boats are all around! Activision seems to be enjoying the flip-side of success - everyone coming out the woodwork saying, "You owe me!"

Manhunt 2 Cleared for Launch!

After a grueling battle with BBFC, Rockstar, developer of the Manhunt series, has defeated an appeal to not give Manhunt 2 a rating, which would have effectively banned the game from sale in the UK. Now, the game will be released with an 18 rating- rejoice! Score one for free speech in video games!

Let the Manhunting 2 Begin!

Another victory for gruesome games! It seems like there should be a point where the games get too gory to release, but that point has not been achieved yet. Phew!