|July 11th, 2008|
Just to keep things straight…
Konami is suing Harmonix over music game patents. Harmonix is owned by Viacom, which bought them because they owned patents on music games themselves, which everyone thought made Activision’s purchase of Red Octane, which published Guitar Hero, kind of funny since they got the brand but not the underlying IP, though then Activision accused Harmonix of being imitative of… itself whenÂ Rock Band was announced; and proceeded to have a different developer make the game. Naturally, Konami started out by having patents on Guitar Freaks, though in fact MTV (Viacom) also owned patents on drum games themselves already, and Konami is now also making their own full-band game. Activision apparently has a license on the Konami stuff (did Red Octane?), but they’re getting sued by Gibson who have a patent on music games as well, even though the Gibson guitars were in Guitar Hero based on a licensing deal. Activision did buy a bunch of other patents, and lists them in the game’s docs, though. No word on whether the dispute over royalties supposedly owed to Harmonix, now Viacom, by Red Octane, now Activision Blizzard, over whether the Guitar Hero sequels are new games or the same game with new content, has been resolved. There was a lawsuit about that too, but they decided to negotiate instead.