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Supreme Cmdr

3000AD vs Dreamcatcher

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*forum links updated*

EDIT: It all started over here and ended here.

I am going to be using this thread to generate a play-by-play accounting of the events as they come in.

But for those of you who missed it, here is a quick summary.

Here is the Cease & Desist letter sent to them by my Canadian attorneys.

Their response was unsatisfactory and frought with delaying tactics. So, true to my threat, I instructed my attorneys on Friday January 30th to proceed with materials for an injunction petition.They worked on that day and right through the weekend. Pouring over hundreds of pages of material spanning a full year since we signed with DC.

On Monday February 2nd, the injunction was filed in a speedy fashion and the judge notified of the urgency. You see, Dreamcatcher started employing delaying tactics in an attempt to start shipping the game (which went into production on January 27th) into retail. Their response to our C&D letter was asking my attorneys to excuse themselves from the case because they [my attorneys] had dealth with Dreamcatcher before in a prior issue. My attorneys shrugged that one off, recognizing it for what it was. A delay tactic.

You see, once they ship the game prior to an injunction, lawsuit or whatever, even if an injunction is granted, the genie would already be out and it would be a more messier and difficult situation for me to enjoin the retailers and prevent them from shipping the game - which I'm quite certain some have paid DC for.

The judge heard the case yesterday and most of the afternoon was spent in testimony.

Yesterday was the longest day of my life, as I sat around while my attorneys did battle with DC attorneys over the granting of the injunction.

Of the 100+ pages of documents submitted to the judge, DC never produced ANY tangible material, other than ad hominem responses. The judge wasn't very impressed to say the least.

Once they figured that the judge wasn't buying that their reason for reducing the game from $39.99 to $19.99 was because of the quality, they didn't raise Robert Stevenson (the producer hired by DC just before E3 last year) testimony in court because there were *no* documents, emails, faxes or anything out of DC - for a whole year - which would support their claim that they reduced the price because of the quality. Again, the judge wasn't very amused. Asking that if the game was of low quality, why did they try to ship

**incomplete** at $39.99 in December 2003.

Not to mention Robert Stevenson clearly caught lying in his affidavit.Unknown to him (since he wasn't in court, hence the affivadit), we

already had the MSN logs from the day I discovered the price drop. Those logs contrast his affidavit in which he clearly states that *he* recommended that the price of the game be dropped. Yet, he pretended to not know anything about the price change - instead - blaming it on the retailers.

They brought in some guy - whom I'd never heard of - called Paul Kohler - submit an affidavit about production quality of indie games, the MSRP price setting etc. You can read the entire rubbish in his affidavit and judge for yourself. It is an insult to indie devs everywhere.

There are several other affidavits which I will be posting during the course of the day as I update this thread.

Which brings me to this. The DC counsel asked that the proceedings be sealed. They obviously didn't want dirty laundry getting aired. Which is rubbish. With the 100+ pages of material which we submitted and which shows how DC treats their developers, they probably didn't want others (e.g. Jane Jensen) to see it. The judge said that they won't be sealed. It is a public matter which should interest both publishers and indie devs.DC weren't too happy about that.

At the end of the day long hearing, the judge said that he will give his decision in the morning. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

EDIT: I have uploaded a text containing our responses to parts of the affidavits submitted by DC.

If you have already received a copy of the game from early retail shippers, please read this.

EDIT:

The judges ruling in this matter can be found in this post.

[ 06-06-2005, 08:14 AM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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quote:

Asking that if the game was of low quality, why did they try to ship

**incomplete** at $39.99 in December 2003.


They are some hypocrites round there this is too funny

Good luck Derek, we keep our fingers crossed too

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Guest $iLk

Good luck Derek... I hate court stuff

But I'm glad to see you taking a stand, I respect and admire that.

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Best luck and wishes SC!! IMHO it will be way too easy.....

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The dropping of the price from $39.99 to $19.99 due to quality concerns is so ironic and hypocritical its laughable. Glad the judge saw through this, stating their desire to ship an unfinished product at $39.99 a month prior.

Obviously, good luck with the case. It looks strong from your side although hopefully the damage already done can be kept to a minimum.

I'll stick with your demo and/or BCMG until the true UC makes it to market.

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The judge's decision came in. We were not successful.

You can read the decision over here.

We were not successful in obtaining an

injunction primarily due to the fact that the performance of the product in the market at $19.99 instead of $39.99 can be tested and we can seek

to sue for damages if the product does not perform as stated by the publisher. The judge is basically saying, wait and see the outcome and if you're still not satisfied with it, sue them for damages. Preventing the game from being sold, will not provide that market test etc etc.

What this all means is that, the judge is saying, they can go ahead and ship the game at $19.99. And if it does not perform as our projections

and contrary to what Dreamcatcher stated (they said that lowering the price by half will double the sales - see their affivadit for more on

this), then I can sue for damages. We can also sue for the inaccuracies and false statements in the DC affidavits etc etc.

Small bump. But I've only just begun.

EDIT:

I have spoken with my attorneys and a fresh batch of lawsuits are going to be filed against every officer in the company, Robert Stevenson (for making false statements in an affidavit). And we are going to seek to terminate the contract for breach in several areas (cited in the affidavit for injunction).

[ 02-04-2004, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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Guest $iLk

Publishers suck. We're all with you on this one.

Talk about being gunshy... why would anyone want to develop software if they constantly had to deal with this bull***t?

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Ahh well, this was not the best that could happen but at least you sue them for loses, and that isn't a bad thing. Either way, i know this really sucks SC, so my feelings go to you! And since it's unlikely anything about the game price or support will change (i presume) i will place my order now.

And i thought DC was a good publisher with their devs...aw damn To the H*ll with them!

Cheers

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Hey, Derek, its Sloan from the Gone Gold forum, I had an old ID here but I dont know the log in info, and I do not have that old email to retrieve the info! So, I just reregistered!

Sorry about the court setback today, hopefully it will all turn out in the end! I own BCM and love it and am looking forward to UC at any price!

Good luck in the future with all DC dealings, they seem to be a bit underhanded and you will need all the luck you can get when dealing with them. Other than UC I will not purchase another DC game because of this!

Cant wait to pick up UC as soon as it hits EB or Gamestop!

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

We were not successful in obtaining an

injunction primarily due to the fact that the performance of the product in the market at $19.99 instead of $39.99 can be tested and we can seek


I don't understand that at all. You did not sign a contract with dreamcathcer using you and your product as a test subject for game pricing

but contracted at $40 so how can the Judge even come to that decision. I do however hope that the game does sell twice as many copies because then you would increase your fan base and keep the profit at that of selling the game at $40 and would save you a bunch on further law suits even though that would give credence to Dreamcatcher's move.

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Hey there SC

Forgive me if I sound rude, or anything that relates to unbecoming of a prime fleet officer/member

However, after reading everything between DC and all.. the thought has come to me... has it ever occured, or have you ever stopped to think that perhaps DC is trying to discredit 3000AD? Trying to ruin 3000AD's reputation by lowering the price of one of the best games to date?

I mean think about it. The grapihcs in UC are great, there better than BCMG. However, a lot of people dislike you because you're successful. Is that threat? To most companys and publishers it is, why? I'm afriad I can't answer that

However, most games have there prices lowered depending on how they feel and the quality. I mean HELL! I've seen games that DO NOT deserve a $49.99 price tag, Gamespot gives them 4.4% and at some points refuse to sell them because of such rating. For them to sell this game at $19.99 is a direct insult to 3000AD, its employees and the BC series itself

However, I feel that DC is trying to get back at 3000AD, for whatever reason I will probably never find out. So, the judge sided with DC? Sounds like it, I could also be wrong.. however this smells funny because YOU guys had evidence and DC didn't, sounds to me like the judge was paid off (thats a very dangerous thing for me to say), we don't live in a perfect world and even I have seen this done once or twice in my life to friends. Sounds to me like DC was only interested in the revinue this game would generate (but im sure you already know that)

This is bigger though, understandably, I hope you continue you.. whats the word? 'Crusade' against DC. Like what was said here I to refuse to by any games published from DC

I'm unsure if your understanding what im saying, god knows I have a problem when trying to make a point or trying to make others understand me.. This could also be rubbish, however im expressing what I see and what I can feel is going on. Somehow or another I have a feeling I know how this will turn out, please don't ask me how... as I can not answer that

Have a good day Derek Good luck with the lawsuits, god knows they deserve them

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quote:


Originally posted by Kalshion:

So, the judge sided with DC? Sounds like it, I could also be wrong..


Actually, the judge didn't side with them. Quite on the contrary. He actually - based on their affidavit that the game would sell more copies at that price point - gave them enough rope to hang themselves.

Apart from that, the injunction has NOTHING to do with the breach of contract claim. The injunction was designed to prevent them from selling the game at that price point - until the lawsuit for breach was brought about. It not being granted has nothing to do with the breach of contract suit. It just means that they can continue to sell the game and will be liable for damages based on the outcome of the lawsuit.

The good thing about the affidavit is that it provides exactly the same sort of information that both sides would have submitted in the event of a lawsuit for breach. Notice that they are not counterclaiming ANY breach of contract on my part. This is very important to note. I on the other hand, have no less than four documented breach of contract claims in the injunction affidavit.

And they were clearly caught lying under oath. An affidavit is a sworn statement and judges do not take too kindly to false affidavits designed to delay, disrupt or discredit.

The lawsuit for breach of contract is going forward and papers will be filed in the coming days. My attorneys already have clear instructions about this. In fact, we knew that the injunction stood a 50/50 chance of succeeding - especially given the fact that (1) injunctions are quite hard to get - as any attorney knows (2) the game was close to shipping - and in fact, started shipping to retail on the same day that the judge heard the case. Contrary to the ship date they stated in their affidavits.

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Derek. Assuming your successfull in the breach of contract suit. Will you then be legally allowed rebrand UC to Ummm lets say BCG again and ship it yourself??

I'd be much happier to buy from you (even if it was only a gold burned CD) than from DC after this absolute and complete.........

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quote:


Originally posted by Extinct_Reptilia:

Alright I'm a tad confused here... Did SC win and is he changing it to the original price, $39.99?


Nope. But he has good probability of kicking DC's asses with the next lawsuits....

GOOD LUCK SC!!! We're all with you....

On a side note I'm not going to buy any other product from DC... included UC.... I'll stick with BCMG and wait till I can get a gold version or the sequel from 3000AD or another trusted publisher....

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quote:

Did SC win and is he changing it to the original price, $39.99?

No offense but, didn't you read the thread?

Yes, DC is allowed to sell the game for $19.99 so I suppose you could say SC lost the battle, but the war rages on.

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quote:


Originally posted by Emmett.hendrick:

Derek. Assuming your successfull in the breach of contract suit. Will you then be legally allowed rebrand UC to Ummm lets say BCG again and ship it yourself??


Yes, but I won't. Its not about branding the game, its about loss of revenue which would come about as a result of their selling the game for $39.99 instead of $19.99.

The UC and BC brands will remain separate entities, going forward.

Again, if you see the game for $19.99, by it if you want to. It has nothing to do with you that its being sold for less. And its not going to be supported any less than if it was sold at $39.99.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

And its not going to be supported any less than if it was sold at $39.99.

I remember a different statement just yesterday.

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SC,

What DC has done is SO disgusting, it is almost beyond belief. (Well, to me anyway.) I wish there was something I could do to help. For what it is worth, I will buy ANY game with your name on it. I doubt you could make a bad game.

Good luck with the legal battle.

Eric Hauge

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quote:


Originally posted by Werewolf:

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

And its not going to be supported any less than if it was sold at $39.99.


I remember a different statement just yesterday.


You should go back and read it. Slowly this time.

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I remember Derek saying due to financial reasons 3000ad "may" not be able to support it, because of the price tag, never that he didn't want to, or had no intention to...completely different.

best thing maybe, if the game has any small bugs, fix those, and finish there. it wont receive the numerous enhancements and tweaking other bc titles get.

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A potentially silly question, so gimme a siddown if I need it but...

Could Dreamcathcer claim later (if sued for damages) that the lack of a demo (which was planned for a $39.99 release) hurt the sales so it was not "their fault" the sales were lower than they projected?

Ken

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They could I suppose, but I don't think it would do them much good. I mean, they are saying that by lowering the price to $19.99 the game will sell DOUBLE what it would if it were $39.99. It was THEIR choice to lower the price and Derek could simply say that since the price was dropped he had not the funds nor the time to create a demo.

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