When Ubisoft released The Black Eyed Peas Experience last November, the reception was rather predictable. Most critics (read our review) were amiable towards the motion dancer’s expansive soundtrack and appeal to The Black Eyed Peas fans, but gibed at its broken gameplay and lack of accessibility.
The result: the game was a commercial misfire for Ubisoft – according to VGChartz, combined Xbox 360/Wii sales for the The Black Eyed Peas Experience are at a paltry .67 million units. As we’re finding out, however, its troubles haven’t ended; Ubisoft now claims that The Peas agreed to have multiple titles license their music and likeness, and a missing iOS game has the developer going to court.
As discovered by Player Attack, an announcement from Courthouse News Service today revealed that Ubisoft has filed a $1 million lawsuit against BEP Music – the group’s trademark management firm, which operates in will.i.am’s name – for breach of contract. Ubisoft alleges that in June of 2011, the two parties inked a deal giving Ubisoft “the exclusive, worldwide right to use, among other things, the names and likenesses of a music group and its members … to develop, produce, and distribute a video game … on all existing and future handheld and home consoles and iOS platforms, including the iPhone and iPad.”
That one game, as we have the (mis?)pleasure of knowing, was The Black Eyed Peas Experience, and Ubi says that in March 2012 it did, in fact, proceed to make an iOS follow-up. They covered every phase of the process on their end, the lawsuit argues – designing, investing, developing, polishing – but after submitting the game to BEP for a final written approval they were mysteriously ignored. BEP could have rejected the product within 10 business days, their high-quality standards an obvious priority, but instead the firm remained silent. Days turned into weeks; weeks turned into months; multiple inquiries – both orally and in writing – to this day remain unanswered.
And so this leads to the crux of Ubisoft’s million-dollar demand today, its app in limbo and much less relevant considering The Black Eyed Peas Experience has been on shelves for almost a year:
“As a direct and proximate result of BEP Music’s breach of contract, Ubisoft has suffered damages in an amount in excess of $1,000,000, which not only includes Ubisoft’s out-of-pocket development costs, but also the profits Ubisoft has lost and will continue to lose as a result of BEP Music’s breach of contract.”
A date for a court arraignment is still pending… as is a response from BEP Music.
Ranters, it would be easy to to lack faith in the quality of a The Black Eyed Peas (Mobile) Experience, but with the big names involved, Ubisoft may well have stood to make a cool $1 million. Do they have a case against The Black Eyed Peas?
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