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.