Ubisoft getting sued for at least $26 million

Oregon-based ResponDesign has filed a lawsuit against French publisher Ubisoft over a deal to produce My Fitness Coach, a game designed to capitalize on the launch of Wii Fit. ResponDesign claims it was looking at a millions of dollars in potential royalties, but because no game surfaced, the company has missed out. It now wants those royalties in form of delicious, court-won blood money. No less than  $26 million of it.

My Fitness Coach was scheduled to hit the Wii and PS2 earlier this year, and was supposed to use assets from ResponDesign, who produced their own fitness game, Yourself!Fitness, a few years ago. In addition to Ubisoft dragging its heels over the game’s release, ResponDesign also claims that it was unaware that the publisher was also producing other My Coach branded fitness games which would directly compete with or otherwise replace My Fitness Coach

The plaintiff alleges that Ubisoft “from the outset failed to diligently pursue development of the game, ignored the terms of the license agreement and acted in bad faith.” Ubi supposedly promised to pay $250,000 upon receipt of assets, $50,000 upon completion of the Wii game and a further $50,000 after Nintendo has approved it. The Oregon-based company also claims to have been looking at sales bonuses and 5% in royalties, jumping to 10% if sales passed the one million mark. 

That’s a lot of money that ResponDesign hasn’t received very much of. After complaining of missing assets, Ubisoft allegedly took the game out of the My Coach series and pushed the release date to 2009. All sounds rather messy indeed, but who doesn’t love a nasty and protracted legal battle?

James Stephanie Sterling