When I wrote about Atari picking up Ghostbusters and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, a few astute readers left comments asking about another game that was exiled as a result the Activision/Vivendi merger -- Brutal Legend. The game, developed by Double Fine Productions and starring Jack Black, was set to be released by Vivendi's Sierra arm. While Activision and Vivendi were sorting out their catalogs, Brutal Legend was left in limbo. According to Variety, Activision is the main reason why the game hasn't found a new publisher. Variety's Ben Fritz writes:
"I spoke to some sources on the Double Fine side and they said the problem isn't that other publishers aren't interested. They say it's that Activision Blizzard has been 'an impediment' and that they're 'blocking the process.'"
This is a real shame for Double Fine. The company creates some of the most unique games in the business and its founder, Tim Schafer, is one of the gaming's "good guys."
This is the second time Double Fine has had difficulty finding a publisher for a disowned title. The company's last game, Psychonauts, was set to be published by Microsoft. Disappointingly, it was abandoned and left floating like flotsam until Majesco picked it up. Unfortunately, Majesco did a poor job supporting the game and it never got the marketing push it should have. With the current economic conditions making it a tough time to take a risk on launching a new franchise and Activision supposedly impeding possible deals, Double Fine has double trouble when it comes to finding Brutal Legend a new home.