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Garriott awarded $32m in NCsoft contract dispute

By Matthew Handrahan

Wed 26 Oct 2011 10:20am GMT / 6:20am EDT / 3:20am PDT

Korean publisher "schemed" to avoid financial obligations to Ultima creator


NCsoft is a leading developer and publisher of online games.

A gaming powerhouse with a global reach,...

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the judgement that Korean publisher NCsoft should pay Ultima creator Richard Garriott $32 million for breach of contract.

The amount includes $28 million awarded by the jury in July 2010, as well as interest and attorney fees. It was the largest verdict of its kind in Texas that year.

Garriott left NCsoft in November 2008 following a pre-agreed leave of absence to visit the International Space Station. Garriott's stock options expired 90 days after leaving the company due to a clause in his contract relating to voluntary departure.

However, Garriott later claimed that NCsoft had "re-characterised" his departure as voluntary, and that the unlawful sale of his stock had cost him millions of dollars.

"NCsoft schemed to avoid its obligations to Richard at the trial court and on appeal, and neither the jury nor the 5th Circuit bought any of it," said Stephen E. Fox, an attorney at Fish & Richardson and Garriott's lead counsel.

"Contracts have consequences, and as the Court of Appeals explained, the trial court is not a trial run. This has been a long fight and we are very pleased with the Court's decision."

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And his house is for sale!

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Luke Salvoni Senior iOS Developer

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A very unique interior! But only 3 bed...

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Jonah Falcon Writer

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I'm waiting for a comment from Lord Blackthorn and Chuckles.

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

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Now he can buy MORE pepper for his beef...

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Pablo Santos Developer

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It really sounded to me that the actual scheme was made the other way around but... well, when it comes to contracts and obligations, truth becomes a matter of who have the best strategy/interpretation.

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Arthur N

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This guy has no shame... After his failed project costing NCsoft hundred of millions he still has the courage to steal millions from them lolll He would never have made more than 5 million USD if it wasn't for NCsoft. His games were outdated

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Rob Homewood Game Designer, Unity Programmer & Producer

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Go Lord British!

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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

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Go Lord British! I don't care what the truth of the matter is, the man's a gem, and he deserves millions. He needs it for his next castle, and his next trip to space. Don't deny him! :)

Posted:5 years ago


Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

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"Don't mess with a man who's been into space."

Posted:5 years ago


Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

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One NCsoft stock is currently at 14 times the value of when Garriott was fired. Who wouldn't sue for his stock options in such a constellation.

Posted:4 years ago


Danielle Masek Graphic designer/Illustrator

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Contracts only mean something if you have a lawyer to back it up. Being a freelance artist, contracts mean fucking nothing b/c I cannot afford a lawyer. Only the rich can. Kind of ass backwards in a big way.

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@ danielle - such is life such is life

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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship

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The man who made Ultima VII can do no wrong. I concur with Murray - the man requires funds for his space castle!

Posted:4 years ago


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