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Hasbro Suing Atari over D&D License

Toy maker Hasbro Inc., which has licensed out the Dungeons & Dragons IP to Atari since 2000, is claiming that the latter company may have violated its licensing agreement. Hasbro has now filed a complaint against Atari in the District Court of Rhode Island, seeking damages for economic losses. Hasbro also wants to terminate its licensing agreement with Atari, which in turn may close down the Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron MMORPG.

The licensing violation claim stem from Atari's sale of its European business distribution arm to Namco Bandai back in July. According to the Associated Press, Hasbro claims that Atari was misleading in regards to the sale, although no additional details were provided to explain the claim. Wizards of the Coast president Greg Lee said that Atari left them no choice but to take legal action after working with Atari for months on a resolution yielded no results.

Atari, on the other hand, denies any sort of mischief on its part. "Hasbro has resorted to these merit-less allegations, in an apparent attempt to unfairly take back rights granted to Atari," Atari said in the statement. "Atari has sought to resolve the matter without cooperation from Hasbro. We regret that our longtime partner has decided to pursue this action."

Atari added that it will respond appropriately through its legal counsel in court. Wizards of the Coast is the Hasbro subsidiary that actually owns the Dungeons & Dragons IP. Gamers who currently play/subscribe to Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron may want to keep a close eye on this bit of drama.

  • smithereen
    Good thing or bad thing? I don't know. If it means I get my BG3 or NWN3... very good thing.
    Reply
  • sunflier
    OMG!!! With all these lawsuits flying around its a wonder how technology moves forward.
    Reply
  • milktea
    I'd like to see a game of just filing lawsuits. The more lawsuits, the more points. Online multiplayer game even. Then the U.S. must be the top players.
    Reply
  • Seriously? Try the EU...
    Reply
  • sliem
    "Toy maker Hasbro Inc., which has licensed out the Dungeons & Dragons IP to Atari since 2000, is claiming that the latter company may have violated its licensing agreement
    "

    what latter company? they licensed out the D&D IP to: 1) Atari and ...?
    it violated its own licensing agreement and sued itself? cmon Kevin.
    Reply
  • maestintaolius
    milkteaI'd like to see a game of just filing lawsuits. The more lawsuits, the more points. Online multiplayer game even. Then the U.S. must be the top players.I could totally get behind this as an MMO. World of Lawyercraft, it could really be the fabled WoW killer.
    Reply
  • sciencectn
    maestintaoliusI could totally get behind this as an MMO. World of Lawyercraft, it could really be the fabled WoW killer.
    Haha I could see it now...

    "You cast level 13 DMCA of the Ancients"

    "You need to submit more paperwork to raise your mana levels."

    "Your attorney's health level is low; transfer more funds!"

    Reply
  • BG3 and NWN3 would be compliments of BioWare. If you've played Dragon Age, the sequel is likely to be the equivalent of BG3 or a BG reimagined.

    I somehow doubt Hasbro is going to terminate the license. This will probably break down into them claiming Atari owes them a cut of their profits from things like DDO(which is free to play anyway).
    Reply
  • wildwell
    The most important department for technology companies doesn't seem to be marketing or R&D anymore, it seems to be the legal department.
    Reply
  • DaveUK
    My guess would be that Hasbro sees Namco/Bandai as a competitor, and now the european distribution arm of Atari is now owned by Namco Bandai, in theory there are D&D branded products being distributed by Namco Bandai. It's a bit like Nike sponsoring a new sports drink with Coca-Cola, and then Coca-Cola selling its european business to Adidas to distribute it. I can understand why they'd be annoyed in principle; but it's all a bit pointless imo.
    Reply