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Atari Says Turbine D&D MMO Lawsuit 'Frivolous,' Seeks Dismissal
Atari Says Turbine D&D MMO Lawsuit 'Frivolous,' Seeks Dismissal
September 3, 2009 | By Chris Remo

September 3, 2009 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC

Atari has issued an official response to a $30 million Turbine-filed lawsuit related to Dungeons & Dragons MMOs.

Atari called the lawsuit "frivolous," claiming it "can ultimately do a great disservice to D&D fans and to the MMO community at large."

Turbine's suit, filed late last month, accuses publisher Atari of decreasing its support for Turbine's Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach by way of "choking off sales in Europe" and inadequately marketing the game, to make room for an internally-developed Atari D&D MMO.

The publisher is now seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed, alleging in turn that Turbine is using the legal action in part as a smokescreen to obscure its own financial obligations to Atari.

The full statement, delivered to various media outlets including Gamasutra, is as follows:

"Last week, with no warning, Turbine filed what can only be viewed as a frivolous lawsuit against Atari. This action can ultimately do a great disservice to D&D fans and to the MMO community at large. Turbine's actions also appear intended to divert attention from the contractual obligations that Turbine owes to Atari.

"In response, today Atari served a motion to dismiss the entirety of Turbine's lawsuit. Atari also filed a separate complaint to recover monies owed to Atari resulting from an independent third party audit of Turbine.

"While Atari hopes for a quick and fair resolution, it remains fully committed to the D&D communities worldwide and will vigorously protect the franchise and its own integrity in this matter."

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Andrew Grapsas
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Why does this always happen in our industry?!

Lance Rund
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It happens because 30 million dollars will keep a lot of Turbine employees paid... OR a lot of Atari employees paid... but they can't both have that same 30 million.

Who's right or wrong? No way to know without examining a really high stack of legalese papers... which none of us have access to. But I do guarantee you this: whether Turbine or Atari wins, two sets of lawyers get paid.

Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work.

Thanhda Tie
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Atari is not the same Atari as we know before. The name Atari was bought out by Hasbro in 1998. And I believe in 2001 Infogrames bought them out, and Renamed themselves Atari Inc. I also believe they are now part own by Namco-bandai as well.

steve roger
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There seems to already be such a glut of these types of MMOs, I don't see how Atari's under funding theirs would impact the market all that much. Which is what they would have to prove. But I am sure that Atari is dragging it's heals on the money, because they don't have it.

Christopher Enderle
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I'd imagine things like this happen in our industry because it's generally younger and the whole business side is still a sort of wild west that holds no accountability. There's also huge inequalities in power between nearly every component of the industry, from retail to publisher to developer to individual worker. Everyone's trying to get work for free, and if you aren't paid it's hard to afford the legal process to get the money in the first place.

I'm sure these sorts of things aren't too uncommon in other industries, but maybe the low cost of entry into the game industry attracts a larger crowd of opportunists.