The publisher and peripheral maker of upcoming DJ game Scratch: The Ultimate DJ have filed suit against developer 7 Studios and Activision for "intentional interference with contract, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets."
Yes, the publisher is suing its own developer, claiming that the two parties have interfered with efforts to complete the game and sabotage Scratch: The Ultimate DJ's release prior to the release of Activsion's own DJ Hero.
Scratch publisher Genius Products and turntable controller maker Numark Industries allege that Activision and 7 Studios have "conspired to withhold the current version of Scratch in an effort to delay the development and release of Scratch and to gain access to proprietary technology." The game, originally planned for a Summer release, is now delayed until Fall.
Genius and Numark are seeking "substantial damages" and are asking the court to order the game's immediate return.
The suit claims that Activision attempted to acquire 7 Studios, the developer contracted to create Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, after a failed attempt to buy the rights to the game planned to compete with Activision's own DJ Hero.
Following that alleged acquisition of 7 Studios, the suit contends that Activision and the developer "began conspiring to prevent Scratch from getting to market on a timely basis by withholding work product, code and the proprietary game controller."
"We believe that Activision realises the tremendous opportunity that our game, Scratch, represents to the video game industry, the retail marketplace and the consumer. After demonstrating our game, pursuant to the confidentiality agreement with Activision, we believe Activision concluded that Scratch: the Ultimate DJ is a superior offering to their prospective game, DJ Hero," said Trevor Drinkwater, President and CEO of Genius Products.
"We believe that Activision and 7 Studios have improperly used confidential information obtained from Genius and 7 Studios to interfere with our efforts to complete the game. In short, we believe that Activision is attempting to sabotage the release of our much anticipated game and prevent it from getting to market prior to the release of DJ Hero."
We've contacted Activision for comment and will update when we hear more.