Hasbro sues Atari over D&D Liscense

Hasbro is sueing the developer over a liscensing agreement.

Hasbro, owner of Dungeons & Dragons through subsidiary Wizards of the Coast, has filed a complaint in the District Court of Rhode Island. The complaint by Hasbro is seeking elimination of a licensing agreement with Atari, developer of Dungeons & Dragons Online, due to alleged fraud and five separate breaches of the licensing agreement for Dungeons & Dragons.

Hasbro is alleging that Atari may have entered into an unauthorized sublicensing agreement with Namco Bandai Partners, a competitor of Hasbro’s. Earlier this year, Atari sold its PAL distribution arm to Namco Bandai Partners and Hasbro maintains that a sublicensing agreement with Namco Bandai is strictly prohibited under the D&D licensing contract.

"While unfortunate that we had to take this action, it is crucial for us to protect the Dungeons & Dragons brand," said President of Wizards of the Coast Greg Leeds. "We have been working for several months now to reach resolution with Atari, and they have left us with no other choice than to pursue legal action."

Hasbro is also seeking compensatory damages for economic losses on top of the elimination of the licensing agreement. Atari responded to the allegations in a statement.

"Atari has had a long and rich history with the Dungeons and Dragons franchise, investing millions of dollars into numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful games that have generated significant revenue for Hasbro. Hasbro has resorted to these merit-less allegations, in an apparent attempt to unfairly take back rights granted to Atari. Atari has sought to resolve the matter without cooperation from Hasbro. We regret that our long-time partner has decided to pursue this action. Atari will respond appropriately through its legal counsel in court."

The two companies signed the 10-year licensing agreement in 2007. During that agreement, Atari has developed Dungeons & Dragons Online, Neverwinter Nights II and its expansions, and Dungeons & Dragons Tactics for the PSP.




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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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