Please note as of 4/6/07 the following news story has been retracted. The information we've obtained from GameIndustry.Biz was incorrect. Look for a retraction article shortly.
It might only be a slap on the wrist, relatively speaking, but it must still be frustrating. As Gamesindustry.biz and GameSpot tells us, Lodestone Entertainment founders, Corey Fong and John Tam, are now forbidden to develop Guitar Hero -style games for the next year (starting at the time of the ruling, we assume).
The ex-RedOctane employees had been facing a lawsuit by Activision for quite some time, as the two left Activision to develop and sell their creations elsewhere, including software and peripherals. Now, they can't even release musical peripherals that might be similar to Activision products until at least six months after release.
During their 12-month suspension of sorts, the pair cannot develop any "guitar, drum or synthesizer-based games," which may put a crimp in their plans. Harmonix, originally part of the Guitar Hero franchise, has already left and announced their new music-based project, Rock Band . They're now owned by MTV and working with EA to produce the new game. Were the former RedOctane peeps working on a similar project…?
Activision is undefeated in the court room with any cases involving Guitar Hero . They just recently won lawsuits against former RedOctane PR firm Reverb Communications, the peripherals manufacturer The Ant Commandos, and another former employee. You see the word "former" a lot because there's been a whole lot of shuffling going on since the emergence of the super-popular rhythm title. In the end, Activision simply bought out RedOctane.
Okay, maybe we can finally lay this mess to rest.
Related Game(s): Guitar Hero