Activision sues to halt Jack Black game

Company says developer failed to deliver 'Legend'

Jack Black’s future as a “Brutal Legend” is being threatened.

Activision has filed a lawsuit against videogame developer Double Fine Prods. that may prevent Electronic Arts from releasing “Brutal Legend” in October.

The videogame publisher claims that Double Fine missed a key deadline for “Brutal Legend” last year during its development and then set up the game with rival EA when it needed $7 million more and an additional nine months to finish it.

But Activision said in a lawsuit filed in the Santa Monica Courthouse, that it had never relinquished the rights to the game, in which it had already invested $15 million to develop. It also wasn’t paid back any money Double Fine was given to produce the game.

Company will suffer “irreparable harm” and lose not only sales from the game but also revenue from downloadable content, in-game advertising, merchandise and other opportunities if the release isn’t stopped, Activision said in the filing.

But suit is intended to keep close rival EA from adding that kind of coin to its coffers, as well.

Double Fine, launched by games vet Tim Schafer in 2000, also produced the popular “Psychonauts” actioner.

“Brutal Legend” was one of the more high-profile properties that was shown off at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Original property, which Creative Artists Agency helped set up for Black, features the thesp as a heavy metal roadie who is transported to a mythical ancient world where he is called upon to fight evil.

EA is treating the game as a major tentpole for the company, making it one of the few titles that was promoted on the side of the convention center this week. It was also heavily showcased at EA’s press conference and booth on the show floor.

EA is not a named party in the lawsuit. Company declined to comment.

Activision, which is behind the popular “Tony Hawk” and “Call of Duty” games franchises, also declined to comment.

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