Scratch: The Ultimate DJ LLC vs. Activision lawsuit has arrived, and with it a comprehensive analysis of the "full 30-page complaint" by way of Gamasutra. Before we launch into that though, we first put this question to you, dearest readers: What the heck do we call this thing? Scratch-gate? Court Scratch Fever? Breakin' (the law) 2: Electric Boogaloo? You tell us!
Aside from the litany of information we already know, the piece paints an interesting tale of tortuous interference on the side of DJ Hero publisher Activision ostensibly strong-arming Scratch: The Ultimate DJ developer Genius Products (and its partner, Numark) into releasing its game later than Activision's. Furthermore, the suit alleges that 7 Studios, former contracted developer of Scratch for Genius Products (and recently purchased by Activision), is still withholding "nine custom-manufactured turntable and beat-button game controllers" belonging to Numark.
To help break down the analysis with significantly more expertise and clarity, we contacted LGJ columnist Mark Methenitis, who had this to say:
"If you thought Silicon Knights vs. Epic had the potential to get ugly, imagine the stakes when the next major branch of the music game genre hangs in the balance. Taking Genius's claims at face value, Activision is basically trying to bully them out of the market so that Activision's own DJ Hero can become the top billing DJ-based music game. This is similar to the claim that Silicon Knights made, where they alleged Epic was neglecting the Unreal Engine 3 licensees to benefit Gears of War. The major difference here is when Activision couldn't buy the game, it bought the developer to control the game's development and attempt to force the hand of Genius. This gets into tortuous interference with the existing development agreement, the basic gist of which is that as a third party, you're not allowed to interfere with someone else's contract. Of course, there's likely another side to this story, which I'm sure Activision will present in its answer to Genius's claims."