Turbine slapped Atari with a $US30 million lawsuit two weeks ahead of the launch date for Turbine's free-to-play massively multiplayer online game, Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited.
The suit, filed August 24 in the state of New York's Supreme Court, alleges among other things that that Atari breached its contract with the developer to sublicense D&D and Advanced D&D to the developer to sustain their first MMO, Dungeons & Dragons: Stormreach.
It also says that Atari deliberately didn't support the product (even as it took "hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance royalties" from Turbine) and that back in November of 2008, Atari created "a trumped up and false basis to threaten to terminate the contractual relationship between Atari and Turbine in an effort to extort more money from Turbine or, alternately, to free itself from its obligations under the contracts in order to clear the way for the launch of its own competing MMO service based on the D&D and Advanced D&D intellectual properties."
In other words, Turbine thinks Atari is trying to pull on their D&D game to make way for Cryptic Studios' upcoming D&D-based project. The timing syncs up right: in December 2008, Atari bought Cryptic and we heard a report in June 2009 from The Cut Scene that they were working on an MMO of Neverwinter Nights.
A message left with Turbine attorney Jeffrey Simes was not immediately returned. A representative for Atari said they'd get back to us with a statement, but at time of press no statement had materialised. If you really want to know more, though, you can check out the complaint document here.