If you thought Sony’s legal battle with George Hotz was something that showcased mean spirit or are one of the many upset by all the studio closures that have happened this year then here’s a story that will make those seem like business as usual. Beyonce Knowles and her company Beyonce, Inc. are now being sued by developer Gate Five for breaching her contract and alegedly putting 70 people out of work the week before Christmas.
Gate Five had entered into a contract with Beyonce to develop a game called Starpower: Beyonce in 2010, but things went horribly wrong when Beyonce left the project one week before Christmas. The court filings claim that the act, “destroyed Gate Five’s business,” and led to 70 employees becoming unemployed just before Christmas. How very Grinch-like.
According to Gate Five, Beyonce attempted to renegotiate her contract for different compensation terms despite already being contractually bound to what Gate Five describes as, “lavish compensation terms.” When she was unable to renegotiate, and after her behaviour had driven away the project’s fanancier, she left the project in breach of her contract.
Gate Five is seeking $6.7 million in compensation for its investment into the project which it will not be able to recuperate as well as over $100 million in profits it expected to earn after the release of the game. Not only that, but Gate Five is also seeking a court injuction which would prohibit Beyonce from commercially associating with any other video game, something which some gamers may be happy to hear.
The court filings also highlight the general negative reaction of those involved with the project, stating that her then manager and father recnounced her actions, while a senior executive of Gate Five said they were, “morally reprehensible,” in an email sent to one of her talent agents. The financier who left the project is alleged to have left because he found Beyonce too erratic to do business with.
Should Beyonce be allowed to ever work on a video game again, or are her actions too, “morally reprehensible,” for this to ever be an option?