Game publisher Codemasters has filed a breach of contract suit against developer Gazillion and its NetDevil studio in a federal court in San Francisco, citing contract-breaking delays in the completion of the freemium online game Jumpgate Evolution. The contract called for the game to launch on or before February 29, 2009. NetDevil announced in May 2009 that it was delaying the game to polish and improve it based on test user feedback, but never announced a new launch date for the MMORPG after that.
Jumpgate Evolution was meant to be the sequel to NetDevil’s 2001 game Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative. Codemasters signed a licensing agreement acquiring rights to Jumpgate Evolution and gave NetDevil $1.4 million in advance to create art assets and develop the game. NetDevil was also to enter an agreement with an escrow agent and deposit its source code with said agent, which Codemasters says NetDevil has failed “and refused” to do.
Codemasters is suing NetDevil and Gazillion for damages including the $1.4 million advance, internal costs spend on developing the game (production and QA), and external costs spent on developing the game (localization, marketing, servers, data center costs). Alternatively, Codemasters would accept a rescission of the deal with NetDevil which would require the developer to return all funds provided for the creation of Jumpgate Evolution. Gazillion is implicated in the suit largely because it acquired NetDevil in 2008.
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