Codemasters Launches Jumpgate Evolution Lawsuit

Codemasters Launches Jumpgate Evolution Lawsuit

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Codemasters has filed a lawsuit against NetDevil over the MIA MMO Jumpgate Evolution, alleging that the studio took the money and ran, and didn't leave a game behind.

Ever wonder what happened to Jumpgate Evolution? Codemasters sure does. The publisher signed a deal with MMO studio NetDevil back in June 2008 to publish the game in the U.K. and Europe in exchange for roughly $1.4 million in up-front financing. Codemasters forked over the dough but the game was never seen; it was originally supposed to come out in June 2009 but in May of that year it was pushed back and nothing has been heard about it since.

And now it seems that Codemasters is tired of waiting. The publisher filed suit against NetDevil and its parent company Gazillion Entertainment, which acquired the studio in July 2008, demanding its money back and a cancellation of the contract, along with legal expenses and whatever else the court thinks appropriate.

"Codemasters has filed a Complaint with the federal court in San Francisco against Gazillion and NetDevil," a community rep wrote on the Codemasters Jumpgate forum. "The allegations in the Complaint are clear and self-explanatory and address issues related to the development of Jumpgate Evolution. During the course of the litigation other documents will become part of the court's public records further detailing the respective positions of the parties. On the advice of Codemasters' U.S. attorneys, Codemasters has no further comment at this time."

It's not what you'd call a good sign for anyone looking forward to new space-based MMO action. Codemasters' lawsuit can be read in full at courthousenews.com. (PDF format)

via: IncGamers

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Well like a wise man once said, "If you get paid to do a job you didn't do, you have every right to get your ass sued off," or something along those lines.

yea i would be a bit ticked if i payed 1.4 million and the game just went vapor with out anything coming out of it.

Has anyone else noticed Codemasters trying to sound like one of the big boys by suing everyone and being pricks?

Edit - Let me justify this. I understand them recouping losses. I shouldn't have used "Pricks", maybe desperate. And this is for a number of reasons, the recent lawsuits, accusing poaching of staff and saying pre-owned games encourage piracy because of... Because.

All I can say here is "Good Luck".

This is why production is a risky proposition, especially in industries like this. Your pretty much investing in the chance that the guys making the game can actually produce it and make money off of it. The money being spent is going largely towards the developers to pay their own salaries and wages while they work on the project.

Any way you look at it, this money is probably gone. The people took the money, and lived off of it during this time. What's more to win in such a case they pretty much are going to have to prove that the guys taking the money weren't working on the project and/or there were no legitimate excuses for it not being completed. That can get very touchy and complicated, but in the end you can't get blood from a rock.

Sort of like what happened to the money pit that is "Duke Nukem Forever" which saw 30 million dollars in investments pretty much evaporate.

If I had to guess at what happened here, I'd immediatly say that the team worked on the game, but needed more time, and requested more money. Money which they never received so they refused to work for free. It seems like this kind of thing tends to be at the root of a lot of similar complaints and it all depends on the wording of the contract and whether or not they accepted that 1.4 million to create the enire game, or if that was just the first investment to get started and see how things started to turn out before any more major financing was invested.

I say this because 1.4 million dollars is a pretty low amount for a game nowadays, especially a real-time space battle MMO. It seems kind of odd that they would have expected a full product of this type for that much money.

I don't know about Codemasters or financing but 1.4 million dollars is WAY to low. An average AAA+ title costs 20+ million to make.

What were they thinking? Sure, sue them but they can always retaliate that Codemasters didn't finance them properly to even create a plausable environment.

A space MMORPG sounds wicked though.

Therumancer:
All I can say here is "Good Luck".

This is why production is a risky proposition, especially in industries like this. Your pretty much investing in the chance that the guys making the game can actually produce it and make money off of it. The money being spent is going largely towards the developers to pay their own salaries and wages while they work on the project.

Any way you look at it, this money is probably gone. The people took the money, and lived off of it during this time. What's more to win in such a case they pretty much are going to have to prove that the guys taking the money weren't working on the project and/or there were no legitimate excuses for it not being completed. That can get very touchy and complicated, but in the end you can't get blood from a rock.

Sort of like what happened to the money pit that is "Duke Nukem Forever" which saw 30 million dollars in investments pretty much evaporate.

If I had to guess at what happened here, I'd immediatly say that the team worked on the game, but needed more time, and requested more money. Money which they never received so they refused to work for free. It seems like this kind of thing tends to be at the root of a lot of similar complaints and it all depends on the wording of the contract and whether or not they accepted that 1.4 million to create the enire game, or if that was just the first investment to get started and see how things started to turn out before any more major financing was invested.

I say this because 1.4 million dollars is a pretty low amount for a game nowadays, especially a real-time space battle MMO. It seems kind of odd that they would have expected a full product of this type for that much money.

And all the more reason why games don't need to be over 20$ and need to play themselves so the vast majority of the home video market can make that 20$ price point sustainable. 40+ games is a waste of time and effort on everyones part.

Straying Bullet:
I don't know about Codemasters or financing but 1.4 million dollars is WAY to low. An average AAA+ title costs 20+ million to make.

What were they thinking? Sure, sue them but they can always retaliate that Codemasters didn't finance them properly to even create a plausable environment.

A space MMORPG sounds wicked though.

Not too mention a MMORPG usually cost 100 million minimum.
But maybe Jumpgate in not a true MMO like Vindictous. No open world at all, just a town and lot of portal to boss fights.

Exort:

Straying Bullet:
I don't know about Codemasters or financing but 1.4 million dollars is WAY to low. An average AAA+ title costs 20+ million to make.

What were they thinking? Sure, sue them but they can always retaliate that Codemasters didn't finance them properly to even create a plausable environment.

A space MMORPG sounds wicked though.

Not too mention a MMORPG usually cost 100 million minimum.
But maybe Jumpgate in not a true MMO like Vindictous. No open world at all, just a town and lot of portal to boss fights.

Indeed, 100 million minimum sounds about right for most high profile MMORPG's. Either way, the latter of your conclusion sounds horrible and sad. Not worth your time or their investment.

Omg... I wanted just ONE decent game in this gen in the space sim genre and now I'm disappointed yet again. Naumachia looks like a pile of crap too.

sirdanrhodes:
Has anyone else noticed Codemasters trying to sound like one of the big boys by suing everyone and being pricks?

Going after what belongs to them by right is not a prick move. If you gave me money to get something done and I didn't do it, you would want your money back. wouldn't you?

Exort:

Straying Bullet:
I don't know about Codemasters or financing but 1.4 million dollars is WAY to low. An average AAA+ title costs 20+ million to make.

What were they thinking? Sure, sue them but they can always retaliate that Codemasters didn't finance them properly to even create a plausable environment.

A space MMORPG sounds wicked though.

Not too mention a MMORPG usually cost 100 million minimum.
But maybe Jumpgate in not a true MMO like Vindictous. No open world at all, just a town and lot of portal to boss fights.

Having played the original way back in the day I can tell you the game was pretty f'ing awesome. Even back in the dial-up age. I was really looking forward too Jumpgate Evolution, been signed up for the Beta for a loooong time wondered what had become of the game looks like i know now.

It's a real shame because it would be a nice alternative to Eve as the original was a twitch based skill action mmo.

sirdanrhodes:
Has anyone else noticed Codemasters trying to sound like one of the big boys by suing everyone and being pricks?

So if I tell you to say.... revamp my car, and I'll give youthe money for the materials upfront, and a month before it is supposed to be done you say "it'll take a bit more time" Ishouldn't be pissed at all. Say then you simply never work on the car again? If I sue you, I'm being a prick?

Straying Bullet:

Indeed, 100 million minimum sounds about right for most high profile MMORPG's. Either way, the latter of your conclusion sounds horrible and sad. Not worth your time or their investment.

And? Codemasters didn't buy the MMO, nor did they pay for the development. They paid that sum as part of the deal they made to publish the game in the territories mentioned above - Notice how it's missing the biggest one, i.e. the US?

Codemasters put money into the project in order to secure their position as the publisher, and they would (if the game had launched, that is) have made that sum back via profits from the EU release of the game. As the game is nowhere to be seen and Codemasters haven't got a title to publish, they (rightfully) want their money back.

It's like a pre-order. If you put $5 down for a pre-order on a game and it gets cancelled, you'll want that $5 back.

Hehe, I applied for the beta out of curiosity. I was wondering about it as well...

Straying Bullet:
I don't know about Codemasters or financing but 1.4 million dollars is WAY to low. An average AAA+ title costs 20+ million to make.

What were they thinking? Sure, sue them but they can always retaliate that Codemasters didn't finance them properly to even create a plausable environment.

A space MMORPG sounds wicked though.

There's one called EVE and it's awesome.

RobCoxxy:

There's one called EVE and it's awesome.

Thats a matter of opinion. I hate WoW but I would still rather play that then EVE. Not only is the learning curve intense, the death penalties extreme, and the skill system bloated it's also pretty much like every other MMO out there except being not as newb friendly and and forcing me into READING A BOOK because it takes so long to get to some places.

LostProxy:

RobCoxxy:

There's one called EVE and it's awesome.

Thats a matter of opinion. I hate WoW but I would still rather play that then EVE. Not only is the learning curve intense, the death penalties extreme, and the skill system bloated it's also pretty much like every other MMO out there except being not as newb friendly and and forcing me into READING A BOOK because it takes so long to get to some places.

Lose a ship? If you've done about three missions, you can buy a new one. The learning curve is difficult, yes. But that makes it far more rewarding. :P

And you say it as if reading is a bad thing? I just watch a TV show or something if I have crazy distances to cover lol

RobCoxxy:

LostProxy:

RobCoxxy:

There's one called EVE and it's awesome.

Thats a matter of opinion. I hate WoW but I would still rather play that then EVE. Not only is the learning curve intense, the death penalties extreme, and the skill system bloated it's also pretty much like every other MMO out there except being not as newb friendly and and forcing me into READING A BOOK because it takes so long to get to some places.

Lose a ship? If you've done about three missions, you can buy a new one. The learning curve is difficult, yes. But that makes it far more rewarding. :P

And you say it as if reading is a bad thing? I just watch a TV show or something if I have crazy distances to cover lol

3 missions? Please tell me which missions you were doing to make billions of isk so quickly. See thats the thing, I could see the learning cure being so much less if they removed a lot of skills that could have been summed up into 2 or three. My main complaint is just how ridiculous the skill system can get compared to other MMOs or something more related to it like a tabletop RPG.

My point is I shouldn't have to read a book while playing a game. You're right though, reading is great. In fact if you like sci fi I just got through The Windup Girl and I loved it. It starts slow but IMO really picks up somewhere in the middle but the slow beginning is only because they try to get you to understand the atmosphere of a much different world.

LostProxy:

RobCoxxy:

LostProxy:

Thats a matter of opinion. I hate WoW but I would still rather play that then EVE. Not only is the learning curve intense, the death penalties extreme, and the skill system bloated it's also pretty much like every other MMO out there except being not as newb friendly and and forcing me into READING A BOOK because it takes so long to get to some places.

Lose a ship? If you've done about three missions, you can buy a new one. The learning curve is difficult, yes. But that makes it far more rewarding. :P

And you say it as if reading is a bad thing? I just watch a TV show or something if I have crazy distances to cover lol

3 missions? Please tell me which missions you were doing to make billions of isk so quickly. See thats the thing, I could see the learning cure being so much less if they removed a lot of skills that could have been summed up into 2 or three. My main complaint is just how ridiculous the skill system can get compared to other MMOs or something more related to it like a tabletop RPG.

My point is I shouldn't have to read a book while playing a game. You're right though, reading is great. In fact if you like sci fi I just got through The Windup Girl and I loved it. It starts slow but IMO really picks up somewhere in the middle but the slow beginning is only because they try to get you to understand the atmosphere of a much different world.

Unless you're buying a titan, semi-decent frigates are around 1m ISK.

Before you guys start getting into an argument, let's just say EVE is unique. It's not for everyone, including me, but it's incredibly ambitious and you can do things in it unlike ANYTHING else, period.

Back on-topic: NOOOO! I was really looking forward to JGE - massive online twitch-based space battles! How much more awesome can you get?!? Haven't had a decent space sim for years... And EVE does NOT count here, as that is just entirely different.

I would say the closest thing in recent memory was Freelancer. The online was pretty fun if you found the right server. Made a fair amount of cash with a freighter and a couple of buddies running interference when pirates became a problem. Damn fun game.

sirdanrhodes:
Has anyone else noticed Codemasters trying to sound like one of the big boys by suing everyone and being pricks?

You do realise that Codemasters is one of the smaller UK developers, and not very well known at all, and thus literally cannot afford to spend money on projects like this only to have said projects not deliver anything at all (not even a playable demo :P)? I'm a UK guy looking to get into the industry when I leave university, and Codemasters is one of the firms I'll be applying to. In this case I fully support them. Wouldn't you be pissed if you bought a DVD or something on Amazon, then wait months and months for it to arrive only to have nothing come at all? Wouldn't you be seeking answers and wanting your money back? Plus damages, of course. Codemasters aren't tying to 'play with the big boys' here. They're not 'being pricks'. They are completely justified in what they're doing, and are right to do so.

LostProxy:

RobCoxxy:

LostProxy:

Thats a matter of opinion. I hate WoW but I would still rather play that then EVE. Not only is the learning curve intense, the death penalties extreme, and the skill system bloated it's also pretty much like every other MMO out there except being not as newb friendly and and forcing me into READING A BOOK because it takes so long to get to some places.

Lose a ship? If you've done about three missions, you can buy a new one. The learning curve is difficult, yes. But that makes it far more rewarding. :P

And you say it as if reading is a bad thing? I just watch a TV show or something if I have crazy distances to cover lol

3 missions? Please tell me which missions you were doing to make billions of isk so quickly. See thats the thing, I could see the learning cure being so much less if they removed a lot of skills that could have been summed up into 2 or three. My main complaint is just how ridiculous the skill system can get compared to other MMOs or something more related to it like a tabletop RPG.

My point is I shouldn't have to read a book while playing a game. You're right though, reading is great. In fact if you like sci fi I just got through The Windup Girl and I loved it. It starts slow but IMO really picks up somewhere in the middle but the slow beginning is only because they try to get you to understand the atmosphere of a much different world.

Running missions in my battleship generally nets me ~15 or so million ISK, which means I can replace my ship after about 6 missions, as long as my ship was insured(and assuming I don't have any of my really fancy gear on it). And as I recall, running level 1 missions generally net about 30k isk or so (or so I think... it's been VERY long since I did a level 1 mission), so you should be able to replace a frigate after 6 or 7 missions, and level ones tend to go a good bit faster than level 4s, as well. So I'd say three is a little low, but not too far off the mark.

Yeah, I was looking forward to it. And wondered where it went.

How hard is it to make and MMO space sim, with pravateer style space combat and ship progression, stuff you can collect, auction houses you can sell it at and trade equipment among players, pirates that can steal it from you, mercenaries you can hire, quests you can accept, then thow in an interesting angle with the discovery of an alien artifact, and some NPC factions you can battle against for coop boss fights, then a few interesting planets where you can hang out finding contracts and some down time.

C'mon. Who wouldn't like that?

Ladies, ladies, let's not get into an EVE ONLINE debate, shall we? It's really a matter of taste. I don't think arguing over this is going to change anything.

On topic, I was wondering why they didn't get into beta stage yet. I guess it was simply vaporware.

So...
The epic space combat is a lie?
I WILL HAVE SOMEONES JHORBLOCHS for this!

 

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