Sparks Fly At Activision

Video Game Law Blog

August 30, 2005

In April 2003, Spark Unlimited announced that it and Activision Inc. had entered into an exclusive publishing deal pursuant to which Activision would publish three console games developed by Spark. Now, Spark has filed a $10,000,000 suit against Activision, alleging that the publishing giant has failed to pay promised royalties for the first title developed under that deal (the console edition of Call of Duty Finest Hour), and took Spark's proposals for a sequel and gave them to its own developers.

This is not the first time Spark has been involved in a legal dispute. In April 2003, Reuters reported that Electronic Arts had settled a lawsuit against the 23 former employees who formed Spark, part of which allegedly included a confession by those employees that they improperly took internal EA documents and game code with them to Spark.

On March 4, Atari announced that it had entered into an exclusive agreement for worldwide publishing rights to all future titles developed by Spark Unlimited; between that and the lawsuit, it seems unlikely that future Spark titles will sport the Activision logo any time soon.

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