Judge orders remaining Scratch DJ code returned
Developer 7 Studios forced to deliver all files, including engine source code
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The Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled last week that 7 Studios must deliver all development work related to Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, including the studio's proprietary tools and the source code to its game engine, to publisher Genius Products.
The ruling follows a temporary restraining order issued in April, which called for the immediate return of the game's assets pending a full trial. At the time, 7 Studios questioned how far the order extended, and if the studio's proprietary tech - parts of which were developed prior to its partnership with Genius - would also be included in the delivery.
According to a press release issued by Genius, some proprietary assets and code were withheld by 7 Studios when it returned the game in April. Last week's ruling confirms that these remaining assets must be surrendered.
The ruling also affirms that 7 Studios and its new parent company, Activision, continue to be "walled off" from disclosing any information about Scratch: The Ultimate DJ to each other or to third parties, an agreement that neither Activision nor 7 Studios fought in April's original court hearing.
"We are very excited to finish Scratch: The Ultimate DJ," said Jack O'Donnell, CEO of Numark, the studio now tasked with finishing the game. "We hope that this clear victory ends the delay tactics employed by the defendants to date to stop our game from being completed and brought to market. We will continue to vigorously pursue our damages case against Activision, 7 Studios and Peterson resulting from their actions to delay and take over the Scratch game."
Scratch DJ Game, a joint venture between Scratch publisher Genius Products and surrogate developer Numark Industries, first announced that it would pursue legal action against developer 7 Studios and its new parent company Activision early last month. The suit claims that 7 Studios, which was originally contracted by Genius to develop Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, violated its contract with "new terms that were commercially-unreasonable, in bad faith, and punitive." Additionally, Genius claims that Activision purchased 7 Studios "in order to delay and prevent the completion of the game," which it says is a clear competitor to Activision's upcoming DJ Hero.
Later that month, Scratch DJ Game confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that it "will aggressively pursue its court case against Activision, 7 Studios and [7 Studios CEO Louis] Peterson for damages resulting from their actions to delay and take over the Scratch game" at a later trial. 7 Studios has also announced its intent to counter-sue Genius.