According to studio executive producer Caroline Esmurdoc, developer Double Fine first heard about Activision’s decision to ditch Brütal Legend from a most unfortunate source — a press release.
“We learned Activision was not going to be publishing Brutal Legend through an official press announcement issued by Activision that listed the games they would be shipping, ours conspicuously absent,” she told GDMag. “Again, the team was abuzz with anxiety – and the official hunt for a new publisher began, distracting Tim, myself, and various team leads during an already intense development period.”
The following legal battle, which was settled in August, relegated Tim Schafer, Esmurdoc and “a cadre of team leaders to the unenviable job of information gathering, declaration writing, lawsuit reading, witness interviewing and all around non-game-making during the crunchiest, most critical time of development.”
As far as we know it all ended well as it could, even leaving Activision described as an ugly ex by their new publisher EA, but “the lawsuit took its toll on the team, on the company, on our product and on our optimism. Wrong, any way you slice it.”