Between this and that whole DJ games lawsuit debacle, Activison sure knows how to piss off the competition. This one has less to do with games and assets, and exclusively to do with royalties and money. Maybe this is a new demoralizing strategy. Sadly, it sounds a little more complicated than that.
According to Gamasutra, the story goes back several years, 2002 to be exact. Valve filed copyright infringement claims against then-publisher Sierra Entertainment killing their agreement in 2005. In that same year, the two companies left it to an audit arbitrator to decide how much in royalties really belonged to Valve.
Since then, Activision acquired Sierra and thus took on all of its assets and contractual obligations. Fast forward to early this month, April 6, and the arbitrator stated, finally, that Valve was owed an even $2,391,932 with interest. Just one day later, going back to a claim they made last month, Activision allegedly claimed that Valve was overpaid to the tune of $424,136 in royalties, and so left that amount out when they cut the check.
Needless to say, Valve’s pissed. Savvy to that, Activision threatened to sue them if they tried any action to get that money back, which is exactly what they’re doing. They’re having Washington confirm the arbitrator’s judgement, everything they’re owed, plus the legal fees involved, and “other and further relief as the Court deems just and equitable.”
There’s no word yet from Activision on their take or where things will go from here, but it can’t be pretty. This raises concern whether relations sour to the point of Activision games disappearing from Steam. Let’s hope not.