Konami and Harmonix Find Legal Harmony

Konami and Harmonix Find Legal Harmony

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Suddenly, everyone's getting along and nobody is suing one another.

Remember how, back in 2008, Konami sued Harmonix because it claimed Rock Band violated certain patents? And the lawsuit that Harmonix filed against Konami over Rock Revolution? Well, it turns out everything's been settled.

A settlement between the two groups was reached last week, where the companies both announced they were dropping "all claims and counterclaims" against one another. The details of the settlement haven't been revealed. While it's good to hear that this legal nonsense is over and done with, one has to wonder exactly what the details of the settlement were.

Personally, I'm a little disappointed: I would've liked to see Konami get some sort of legal spanking for unleashing Rock Revolution on the general gaming populace, though the fact that the game reportedly sold less than 3,000 copies across all platforms is probably punishment enough.

Source: Bloomberg via Edge

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HARMONY HARMONY OH L... *Mmph!*

Calumon: No. Just no... Huh, Guess I gotta talk. Okay. Why does no-one lose all their money anymore? It's always nicely settled and...

Jack: *breaks free of gagging rope* No that's not what we want. People need money! Don't be giving Akiyoshi Hongo any ideas Calumon! Or Bobby boy of Activision.

Awwww. They kisses and made up. Thats so sweet

That's what we like to see - Big companies NOT being childish and attacking one another. Makes a nice change.

What the hell is a Rock Revolution?

chemicalfire:
What the hell is a Rock Revolution?

Something we do not speak of in polite company.

vansau:

chemicalfire:
What the hell is a Rock Revolution?

Something we do not speak of in polite company.

Also something that will soon be joined by a "Power Gig".

at least they had the initiative of stopping this nonsense.... which in many other cases ended up badly...

Jack and Calumon:
HARMONY HARMONY OH L... *Mmph!*

Calumon: No. Just no... Huh, Guess I gotta talk. Okay. Why does no-one lose all their money anymore? It's always nicely settled and...

Jack: *breaks free of gagging rope* No that's not what we want. People need money! Don't be giving Akiyoshi Hongo any ideas Calumon! Or Bobby boy of Activision.

ALWAYS, I WANT TO BE WITH YOU, AND MAKE BELIEVE WITH YOU!

*ahem*

They sued each other? Huh...

Well, Konami were the first company to do music games widely. The Bemani series, consisting of BeatMania, Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Freaks... and naturally, they patented the interfaces for these, to try and reduce competition and ensure that their ideas would be profitable.

Harmonix created console music games, Frequency and Amplitude... they were good, but nearly bankrupted themselves doing so, by using licensed music. They then teamed up with RedOctane, a hardware/peripheral company, and made Guitar Hero... which trod all over Konami's patents unwittingly, but saved them, and brought music/rhythm games back into popular culture like never before. If anything, it's created more opportunities for Konami, yet it stole a huge share of their existing market. It's no wonder they got into a legal tussle back-and-forth.

Personally, I'm glad it's resolved. Hopefully Konami can continue making great games, and Harmonix keep up their quality.

Shovelware is shovelware, not my game genere of choice, but it's not surprising how this eventually ended.

That said, I sort of backed Konami spiritually on this because I feel that Konami should have been getting a lot more credit and/or royalties from people producing games like this due to the fact that they were the ones who were producing games like "Guitar Freaks" which were what formed the inspiration for this entire craze.

Even since "Guitar Hero" first appeared, I've been referancing some of their older games and feeling that they were getting a bum deal through this entire thing, seeing very little (well nothing) in returns, while others made fortunes off of their ideas.

Dorkmaster Flek:

vansau:

chemicalfire:
What the hell is a Rock Revolution?

Something we do not speak of in polite company.

Also something that will soon be joined by a "Power Gig".

I've heard little about this Rock Revolution myself, except that it has its own crap peripherals and is a terrible game.

If that's a screen shot of Rock Revolution, it looks like even the avatar isn't happy to be playing.

Personally I was always a little annoyed by this whole thing: On one hand I want to fully back Harmonix for making the game that was both fun and accessible to an American audience - I have little to no doubt that Konami probably never planned to market Guitar Freaks here (and with the setlist seen here, who can blame them? I mean, I was a huge fan of Beatmania and DDR, but Guitar Freaks barely even crossed my radar. With maybe two or three songs I would have considered worth listening to per game, Konami had no market in the US and they knew it.

Then again, I would like to see their patents. In this article it mentions "musical-rhythm matching game" which sounds more to me like someone trying to patent "platforms that you can jump on with pits that you can fall in," but again, I'd like to see more specific wording because it's highly likely they get more specific than that.

And yet again though, this article seems to imply that a lot of the research, conceptualization and physical basis of the game was built on Machover's research with musical instruments, which he clearly gave them his blessing on. Then again, we don't have the whole story of the original Guitar Hero, and blah blah blah blah blah.

In the end I decided that Harmonix had the better game with better music and in the end it's just two big wallets sending their lawyers into the field of battle, so might as well at least root for Harmonix to be allowed to keep making their quality games.

And now they even settled it reasonably! Well, who couldn't be happier about that resolution? Huzzah!

Therumancer:
Shovelware is shovelware, not my game genre of choice, but it's not surprising how this eventually ended.

Ah, be fair, a genre can't be "shovelware", only cheap, poorly made games meant to be churned out every few months to fluff up a system's game listing can ever be shovelware. Wii Music comes to mind. Most highly advertised piece of shovelware on the market!

vansau:
Personally, I'm a little disappointed: I would've liked to see Konami get some sort of legal spanking for unleashing Rock Revolution on the general gaming populace, though the fact that the game reportedly sold less than 3,000 copies across all platforms is probably punishment enough.

On this note, I think that's terrible. I think more people need to go this route. Enough with the stupid lawsuits. Obviously, no one infringed on anyones patents, copyrights, or trademarks. Finally, two companies actually decided to act like adults instead of children fighting over toys in the sandbox.

Oh Great, you've gone and let people know about Rock Revolution again...

 

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