Following earlierlawsuits filed by both Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane and peripheral maker The Ant Commandos (TAC) over third-party Guitar Hero controllers, RedOctane parent Activision has filed a new lawsuit against TAC, as well as three former Guitar Hero producers for copyright infringement, among other complaints.
While RedOctane and TAC eventually settled their differences out of court, a new report from consumer website Gamespot indicates that Activision has now accused three former Guitar Hero II producers of “copyright infringement, trademark infringement, misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, and more.” In addition, the complaint also names PR firm Reverb Communications, which formerly represented RedOctane and Guitar Hero, as defendants in the suit.
The executives, namely executive producer John Tam, brand manager Corey Fong, and hardware group member Jamie Yang, recently founded a new company with The Ant Commandos referred to as both Lodestone Entertainment and Hourglass Interactive, a move that understandably would seem to present a possible conflict of interest.
According to the report, Activision has issued the developers with a temporary restraining order preventing them from "taking any steps to develop, market, manufacture, sell, or distribute any guitar or drum based video games," unless TAC can prove that such a game was not created with the help of the former Guitar Hero developers or the PR firm. The group had apparently been working on a new game that featured elements from both Guitar Hero and freeware PC dance game StepMania.
Other restrictions, such as an inability to create a guitar controller for the Xbox 360 for three months following the release of the Guitar Hero II for that console, have also been levied against the group, while the suit also mandates that they are to not to solicit Activision employees, partners, or manufacturing vendors in Asia in their development efforts.