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Namco Bandai Files Suit Against The Witcher 2 Developer CD Projekt Red

The publisher whose souls still burns is taking issue with a few things.

The fight over The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 is over in Europe. Everything's cool here in the US.

Namco Bandai has filed a lawsuit against Optimus SA, the parent company of CD Projekt Red.

Credit to Poland gaming site CD Action for breaking the original news, but more details are found in a disclosure released by Optimus.

When THQ announced it had obtained the European publishing rights to The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings for Xbox 360, that apparently surprised Namco Bandai, who had signed a distribution deal with developer CD Projekt Red for the European release of the PC version.

Atari will be publishing The Witcher II on Xbox 360 here in the US. Complicating matters, Atari Europe was acquired by Namco Bandai in 2009, gobbling up Atari's European distribution.

Namco Bandai is also arguing CD Projekt Red broke its contract with Namco Bandai by removing DRM from the PC version of the game without its permission.

Naturally, Optimus and CD Projekt Red believe both are in the clear.

"Namco's claims are unfounded," reads the statement.

As a consequence of the lawsuit, Namco Bandai is withholding payments of 1,225,000 Euros (roughly $1.75 million dollars).

"In the opinion of the [Optimus] management board, Namco consequently claim the desire to continue cooperation in the distribution [of] CDP RED products after the recent release of games released on PC, due to the expected potential sales of this title for console Xbox 360," concluded the company. (Also, I blame Google Translate for the awkward phrasing.)

Both the Soul Calibur publisher and THQ have not yet responded to requests for comment.

CD Projekt Red did not yet have any additional information about the lawsuit when contacted.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
The fight over The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 is over in Europe. Everything's cool here in the US.

Namco Bandai has filed a lawsuit against Optimus SA, the parent company of CD Projekt Red.

Credit to Poland gaming site CD Action for breaking the original news, but more details are found in a disclosure released by Optimus.

When THQ announced it had obtained the European publishing rights to The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings for Xbox 360, that apparently surprised Namco Bandai, who had signed a distribution deal with developer CD Projekt Red for the European release of the PC version.

Atari will be publishing The Witcher II on Xbox 360 here in the US. Complicating matters, Atari Europe was acquired by Namco Bandai in 2009, gobbling up Atari's European distribution.

Namco Bandai is also arguing CD Projekt Red broke its contract with Namco Bandai by removing DRM from the PC version of the game without its permission.

Naturally, Optimus and CD Projekt Red believe both are in the clear.

"Namco's claims are unfounded," reads the statement.

As a consequence of the lawsuit, Namco Bandai is withholding payments of 1,225,000 Euros (roughly $1.75 million dollars).

"In the opinion of the [Optimus] management board, Namco consequently claim the desire to continue cooperation in the distribution [of] CDP RED products after the recent release of games released on PC, due to the expected potential sales of this title for console Xbox 360," concluded the company. (Also, I blame Google Translate for the awkward phrasing.)

Both the Soul Calibur publisher and THQ have not yet responded to requests for comment.

CD Projekt Red did not yet have any additional information about the lawsuit when contacted.

Posted by Ryu89

oh man.

Edited by HBK619

Uh oh spaghettios!

Posted by Pazy

I want CD Projeckt's games to come out on the 360 soon, I still dont have a PC that can run them. Though this suit, from a laymans view, seems unfounded.

Posted by Simplexity

Namco Bandai are a bunch of dicks.

Posted by heatDrive88

This series just can't seem to catch a break.

Posted by Creamypies

Fuck Namco Bandai!

Posted by wolf_blitzer85

Bamco Namdai!

Posted by White_Silhouette

Well they could argue that the steam version has DRM.

Posted by chickdigger802

I blame email. might just be me but no1 tends to read my urgent emails and then complains about it later like it's my fault.

Edited by Digi7alS3lf

Adam Kicinski said that the deal was regarding the PC version, and that they had the option to go for a better offer, and they did.

The whole thing is here.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/310767/news/witcher-2-dev-faces-legal-action-over-xbox-360-publisher-switch-report/

Edited by reson8er

Wake me when it comes out on PS3, e.g. see you in a year :D

Posted by Shuborno

Namco Bandai really wants to be popular with gamers.

They know how much PC gamers love DRM and would hate for them to be deprived of something that was in the original release and then cut with no remorse after the fact.

Posted by Vortextk

God lawsuits are getting so old in gaming, especially when it's about a great game and company. Oh no, they got rid of drm, that was causing up to 30% performance drops for some people and that if you wanted to pirate it you could regardless. As usual the drm was doing nothing but hurting legitimate owners and they removed it right after the game came out as it was just a tool to prevent early play, not a long term penalty on consumers.

Posted by Doctorchimp

This is clearly just Namco Bandai whining and complaining because CD Projekt didn't want to play ball with them.
 
Also they are taking issue with the removal of the DRM on the Witcher 2? Well fuck them then. I'll still buy Dark Souls....but I'm doing it begrudgingly....

Posted by Brendan

@Prodstep said:

Namco Bandai are a bunch of dicks.

@creamypies said:

Fuck Namco Bandai!

How? Why? What if CD Projekt did break a contract with them? We don't know the facts and who's actually in the right so how can you pick a side before knowing what actually happened?

Posted by sirdesmond

From my non-lawyer perspective, it just seemed like Namco Bandai are jealous/sad that they can't get the European right for the 360 version and weren't made aware of it early enough or something and are just throwing a tantrum about it because they know it is going to sell really well.

What a bunch of twats (unless I misinterpreted what is going on)!

Posted by Creamypies

@Brendan: I just haven't liked much of the stuff they've put out in recent years, so in short... I'm not their biggest fan. So again, I say, fuck Namco Bandai.

Posted by Chris2KLee

You know, with the mess of companies involved in the distribution across Europe (not to mention how many languages that contract had to be translated into) I would not be surprised if some lawyer somewhere made a mistake, or there was a misinterpretation of the contract. Hope it gets resolved, as that's a fair amount of money for a company of CD Projekt Reds size.

Posted by MEATBALL

How very endearing.

Posted by Doctorchimp
@Brendan said:

@Prodstep said:

Namco Bandai are a bunch of dicks.

@creamypies said:

Fuck Namco Bandai!

How? Why? What if CD Projekt did break a contract with them? We don't know the facts and who's actually in the right so how can you pick a side before knowing what actually happened?

Because it would be weird if they really did sign away the console version but then picked THQ out of the blue.
 
"The agreement that we signed last year, concerned only the distribution of The Witcher 2 for the PC. The records were carefully clarified to avoid any ambiguity"
 
The CEO seems pretty adamant that the console version was off the table in the dealings.
Posted by Vorbis

Maybe they should publish the Tales games instead.

Posted by Subjugation

CDPR could probably ditch out on Namco-Bandai and find someone else for future publishing without much trouble. Maybe that would teach them to berate one of their few successful productions.

Posted by tourgen

fuck Namco.  I'm not paying money to those leeches ever again.

Edited by mnzy

Little off-topic, but: The €-sign is AltGr+5 on standard US-layout and I think Option+Shift+2 on Mac.

Online
Posted by FateOfNever

I really hate Namco Bandai.  They are involved in some really dirty, sleazy looking stuff, it doesn't surprise me that they would try something like this, even if they know for a fact that they have no chance of winning it.  The only thing I could potentially see coming out of this is the part about removing the DRM, only because if there is something regarding that in the contract, then they would have a case.  The other part, about them being signed for the PC but thinking that grants them the right to distribute it on the 360 just seems crazy.

Posted by Krushr

I hope this causes developers to think twice before using Namco Bandai as a distributor. Their digital distribution pricing policies aren't helping anyone

Posted by lokilaufey

Sounds like a lot of misunderstandings. I am hesitant to fault Bamco just because they are a Big Bad Publisher, though I agree it seems a little hotheaded to try leveling a lawsuit against CDPR before trying to talk to them first.

Posted by smatticus

this is incredibly stupid. just because you publish one version of the game, it doesn't mean you'll automatically get to publish EVERY version of the game. also, removal of DRM should be a decision made by the developers, and no one else. and considering how many issues the game was having its first few weeks of release, i can understand why they wanted it gone.

Posted by Marz

I would be angry at namco bandai but i still gotta buy Dark Souls later this year :(

Posted by TheChaos

Sounds like they're just looking for an excuse to get richer.

Posted by Hero_Swe

"Namco Bandai is also arguing CD Projekt Red broke its contract with Namco Bandai by removing DRM from the PC version of the game without its permission." 
 
Clearly, Namco Bandai can get fucked.
Edited by mnzy
@TheChaos said:

Sounds like they're just looking for an excuse to get richer.

Aren't we all? Aren't we all.
Online
Edited by Aronman789

I gotta say, I love the picture on the DRM Free page.

Posted by ChickenPants

I don't really understand the issue in the first instance. Unless CD Projekt had an agreement in place with Namco for future distribution rights Namco have no grounds to make a complaint.
 
If CD Projekt did break an agreement in the removal of DRM than Namco have every right to press charges in that case.

Posted by Nomin

Just give them the rights to make Witcher action figures to smooth things over. 

Posted by LiquidPrince

So Namco Bandai was supposed to release the PC version... What does that have to do with the 360 version?

Posted by truckington

@Brendan said:

How? Why? What if CD Projekt did break a contract with them? We don't know the facts and who's actually in the right so how can you pick a side before knowing what actually happened?

As a consequence of the lawsuit, Namco Bandai is withholding payments of 1,225,000 Euros (roughly $1.75 million dollars).

Because that is bullshit, and other publishers have done the same shit in the past. They're withholding money they owe to CD Projekt Red before the courts even decide weather the contract was breached or not. It's a bullying tactic designed to put financial strain on the developer.

Even if CD Projekt Red broke the contract, they should release the money until the court actually agrees with them, then ask for that money back plus damages.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

@reson8er said:

Wake me when it comes out on PS3, e.g. see you in a year :D

There's no exclusivity deals going on, so there's nothing stopping it from happening sooner. They just wanted to focus on one platform at a time.

Posted by onarum

Ahhhh corporate affairs, always a source of entertainment.

Posted by Meltbrain

Namco Bandai? More... more like Scamco Blandai! Amirite!?

Posted by Damian

Both sides of this are sounding pretty shady here. But I'll wait to hear more before I puke all over this thread.

Posted by Sooty

I hope this game has done well so far on PC and continues to do so. Same with the 360 version. CD Projekt are great devs.

Posted by GaspoweR

Namco Bandai tries to diversify their catalog and ends being UNGRATEFUL BITCHES

Posted by salad10203

At least this clears up the misconception that developers opt for DRM when its almost always the publishers.

Posted by Depth

God damn that is sad, cd projekt is such an awesome developer and then they get slapped in the face for this. PC GAMING AMIRITE

Posted by essi2

Namco will have to rip CDP Reds "No DRM policy" from my cold dead hands!

Posted by Tennmuerti

Kind of a dick move, bro.

Posted by JackSukeru

Well that is unfortunate.

In other news I can't wait until the game comes to PS3 (Unless it's an awful port, in which case I just won't buy it).

Posted by Darkstorn

Always side with the developer. Not cool, Namco Bandai.

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