Dualstar files suit vs. Acclaim

Olsen twins say co. has withheld coin, damaged brand

Females may be the largely ignored minority in the world of videogames, but a pair of teenage girls have recently drawn the attention of publisher Acclaim.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s company Dualstar Entertainment filed a lawsuit against Acclaim on April 15 claiming that the struggling publisher has withheld nearly $500,000 in royalties and caused damage to the Olsen twins brand by poorly marketing and supporting their games.

Complaint was obtained by the Warner. Bros.-produced syndie show “Celebrity Justice,” which posted it online.

Dualstar signed a licensing agreement with Acclaim five years ago and the publisher has since created nine games based on the Olsen twins.

Though many of the Olsen games were a success, Acclaim has found few other hits and lost $9 million in its most recent fiscal quarter. Dualstar’s suit claims that due to the publisher’s financial troubles, it has withheld or indicated it will withhold royalties totaling over $477,000 that it agreed to pay in a settlement last September terminating Acclaim’s license for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen games.

In a letter from last year attached to the suit, the Olsen twins’ attorney said that Acclaim had taken the videogame license and “run it into the ground” and that the games were “the single dark spot on the otherwise unblemished success story of the Mary-Kate and Ashley brand.”

The former “Full House” stars have built a media empire with products for teenage girls ranging from clothing to videos to a magazine and are reported to be worth over $100 million each.

Acclaim spokespeople did not return calls for comment.

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