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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Maker of ‘Scratch’ Takes On Publisher of ‘Guitar Hero’

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The owner of a "highly anticipated video game" called "Scratch: The Ultimate DJ" has sued rival Activision Publishing, claiming it sabotaged the game so that it wouldn't compete with a similar game connected to Activision's "Guitar Hero" franchise.

Scratch DJ Game, LLC, assignee of a company called Genius Products LLC, said in a complaint filed in Superior Court, that after Activision was unable to buy Scratch from the plaintiff it "embarked on a sinister strategy of intentional interference and unfair competition" to prevent the completion of the rival game.

"Scratch," which was scheduled to be released next September, would have been the first "DJ-based video game" in the market, the suit said. It is an "interactive music video game incorporating all aspects of 'disc jockey-style' game play."

The game would have beaten Activision's game to the market and "early consumer reviews" said "Scratch" was a far superior game, the complaint said.

Activision first tried to buy "Scratch," but when that didn't work, it bought California 7 Studios, the work-for-hire company that was developing the game for the plaintiff. It then allegedly had California 7 make unreasonable demands.

Genius than had to terminate its agreement with California 7, but California 7 refused to return its work on the game.

The suit seeks an injunction against use of Genius/Scratch's work product and unspecifed damages.

The complaint was filed by Allan Schare and Gregory Jones of McDermott, Will & Emery and Stacey Nakasian and Byron McMasters of Duffy & Sweeney.

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