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Richard Garriott sues NCsoft

By on May 6, 2009
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The Garriott/NCsoft saga looks set to run and run.

First, Garriott left “amicably” following the commercial failures of Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa.

Now, it is alleged that he was dismissed and then manoeuvred into selling stock options into a terrible market – options which he could have held onto if the fiction of his “voluntary” departure had not been foisted on him. At least, that’s the story based on the complaint filed by Richard Garriott in the US District Court in Texas as reported by GamePolitics today.

Texas courts have a strong history of finding in favour of local plaintiffs against foreign companies (and the Garriott’s are strongly Texan, with a father who was a well-known astronaut) – so much so that Worlds.com filed suit against NCsoft in Texas when trying to establish that they held some basic MMO patents. (A recent ruling means that Worlds.com vs NCsoft has been switched to North California.)

So this suit pits a local boy against a Korean company that allegedly has caused Garriott to suffer “more than $27,000,000 in actual damage as a result of NCsoft’s wrongdoing.” (Source: Official court filing)

NCsoft seem unlikely to be able to get this case transferred away from Texas. Could be a very bloody battle.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com