Namco Bandai Sues CD Projekt over The Witcher 2 for Xbox 360
By Matt Peckham
It looks like games publisher Namco Bandai (Soul Calibur IV, Tekken 6) is suing developer CD Projekt RED over the latter’s choice of publisher for the Xbox 360 version of The Witcher 2. Namco Bandai published the PC version of the critically acclaimed dark fantasy roleplaying game earlier this year, but CD Projekt RED awarded THQ (Saints Row: The Third, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine) the rights to publish the Xbox 360 version of the game.
Namco Bandai claims it reserves those rights—that’s the first and central legal dispute. The second involves who controls how the digital rights management (DRM) mechanics work. In the process of porting the game to consoles, they’ll have to be removed. Namco Bandai takes issue with the removal.
CD Projekt RED denies it’s doing anything wrong. In fact, according to Gamepur, they’ve actually been hopingNamco Bandai would pull the legal trigger.
“As with most cases, we first tried to end the dispute peacefully,” said a CD Projekt RED spokesperson. “Attempts failed and because of this, we hoped that our partner would send the case to the court. The agreement that we signed last year, concerned only the distribution of The Witcher 2 for the PC.”
Kicinski says CD Projekt RED was cautious going in, and clarified all of this legally from the start “to avoid any ambiguity.”
Apparently Namco Bandai had “options” in determining distribution priority of the Xbox 360 version, but didn’t take advantage of them. As such, CD Projekt RED says it chose to shift the Xbox 360 publishing rights to THQ.
In the meantime, it sounds like Namco Bandai has ceased sending payments from sales of the PC version of The Witcher to CD Projekt RED. But that doesn’t worry the developer.
“Our financial situation is very good at the moment and the lack of a few million does not have any impact on current activities,” says CD Projekt RED’s spokesperson, who hopes the whole thing can be settled before litigation.
If not, he says, “I am sure that we will win the case and then the loser will pay for our lawyers.”