I’ve seen a few websites on this recent lawsuit that Turbine has filed against their publisher, Atari, and the whole thing sounds like a James Bond film, albeit corporate instead of the world. All in all, I found the reporting somewhat confusing, as to who had what motives, and what exactly was going on. So I decided to set up a new section of MMO Fallout, “In Plain English”, where things can be spelled out clearly and in context the average user can understand.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Turbine: Developed Dungeons and Dragons Online
- Atari: Sold the sublicense for DDO and Advanced DDO to Turbine. Also acts as publisher
Turbine claims that Atari did not make a reasonable effort to promote Dungeons and Dragons Online, despite Turbine paying hefty royalty fees. In Turbine’s claims, Atari took the money and hatched the plan that it would declare the license agreement null and void, and one of two possibilities would then occur: Either Turbine would be terminated as part of a shakedown, or use the situation to benefit from its own competing product.
In Plain English: Atari wants to cut Turbine off of Dungeons and Dragons Online, terminating their license agreement, and maintain the title itself. Atari may be trying to kill Dungeons and Dragons Online to focus more attention on its publishing and promotion of Champions Online, or possibly a Neverwinter Nights MMO.