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Activision Blizzard springs back into action

News posted by Ryan on June 4th, 2009 at 10:35pm GMT

Activision BlizzardIt turns out that Activision Blizzard was serious several months ago when it threatened to throw a lawsuit out of its pram: the former publisher of Brutal Legend has just sued the game’s developer, Double Fine.

According to The Escapist’s research, the whole publishing fiasco had a little more to it than we first thought. Apparently Double Fine missed their 2008 target that was advertised in the original trailer, and requested an extra year plus $7 million to finish the game — something Activision clearly wasn’t happy with after already investing $15 million.

As Double Fine supposedly retained the rights to its game all along, it was free to find a new publisher for its game. Activision wasn’t interesting in continuing to fund development, so the options were pretty much either Double Fine finds a new publisher or the project dies.

Double Fine did find a new publisher, and a fantastically supportive one at that which allowed the developer to truly realise its vision for the game. Now Activision has seen what it missed out on, and clearly wants some of the glory.

I guess we’ll have to let the courts decide who is in the right here. I’d say its very likely Activision won’t be able to claw the game back from Electronic Arts, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it does manage to get some kind of settlement out of this. Activision kind of funded the majority of Brutal Legend‘s development, and is going to get absolutely nothing out of it — it’s not hard to see how the court might have some sympathy.

Update

[June 5th, 2009 at 9:15am GMT+1] Brutal Legend designer Tim Schafer has responded with a brief statement:

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

Unfortunately things like this can’t be settled by wits alone, so Double Fine will need a legal team that’s just as sharp!

Photos of the real-life Tenacious D guitar

News posted by Ryan on June 4th, 2009 at 10:57am GMT

As you may remember me pointing out last week, those who sign up for the official Brutal Legend newsletter stand a chance of winning a real-life Tenacious D guitar — also featured in Brutal Legend itself as an in-game collectable for people who pre-order the game.

During the E3 excitement, Tim Schafer naturally had to show off this gift from the metal gods:

If you watch to watch the whole presentation, head over to the updated official E3 Brutal Legend site.

Read the Tim Schafer Twitter chat transcript

News posted by Ryan on June 3rd, 2009 at 5:16pm GMT

TwitterWith the Tim Schafer Twitter chat now over, quite a lot of interesting little tidbits were shared. For example, we know know that there’ll be at least four entirely different vehicles for you to drive, that Mykal was right about the mysterious flag being relevant, and that Tim is willing to do a sequel if the opportunity arises.

If you want to wade through the Twitter logs yourself, head over to the official Brutal Legend Twitter page. You’ll probably prefer to read the formatted version below though, which makes this the longest BRUTAL! post ever! Continue Reading »

Tim Schafer presentation, featuring videos and Ozzy Osbourne

News posted by Ryan on June 2nd, 2009 at 11:39am GMT

Ozzy OsbourneAs promised last week, E3 is now fully underway and some serious Brutal Legend media has started to hit the fan. Tim Schafer has given a video presentation which unveils lot of juicy stuff — such as that Prince of Darkness himself Ozzy Osbourne is in the game!

During the video Tim talks about the game and what it’s all about to his audience, then goes onto premiere a brand new trailer and the second episode of ‘Brutal Thoughts with Jack Black’, which itself contains some new footage.

There’s quite a lot of stuff we’ve never seen before in this video, including brief clips of characters we know about but haven’t seen, the tour bus, headbangers in action, etc. Just watch it because there’s too much to summarise.

I’m going to be putting up standalone HD versions of the videos tonight, so keep an eye on the Community Tracker and/or BRUTAL! YouTube channel for those. Same goes for screenshots.

Brutal Legend to appear on Spike TV tonight

News posted by Ryan on May 28th, 2009 at 10:30am GMT

Spike TVSpike TV is airing a new Brutal Legend video tonight during their pre-show E3 programme. You can see a small preview of the show on the Spike TV website, although nothing to do with Brutal Legend is shown — you’ll have to wait until the actual show for that.

The programme begins at 11pm tonight. It’s not clear which time zone that actually is, so if you’re in the US simply consult your TV schedule. If you’re in Europe, you’ll probably be in bed when it airs!

Due to Spike TV’s relationship with GameTrailers the video will almost certainly appear on there afterwards, so I’ll update this post with the video once it’s available.

Update

[May 29th, 2009 at 9:25am GMT+1] As expected the video is now available on GameTrailers. It’s actually a minute from one of the game’s early cutscenes rather than a trailer, so depending on your sensitivity to spoilers you may or may not want to give it a miss.