Atari has issued a strongly-worded riposte to Turbine, calling the MMO studio's legal challenge over its licence to make Dungeons & Dragons Online "frivolous" and "a great disservice to D&D fans and the MMO community at large". Atari is to countersue to recover what it believes are monies owed.
Last week, Turbine filed a $30 million lawsuit against Atari, claiming the D&D licence-holder was trying to withdraw from their agreement under "trumped-up and false" pretences so it could launch its own, competing game - rumoured to be a Neverwinter Nights MMO by Cryptic Studios.
"Last week, with no warning, Turbine filed what can only be viewed as a frivolous lawsuit against Atari. This action can ultimately do a great disservice to D&D fans and to the MMO community at large," Atari said in a statement.
"Turbine's actions also appear intended to divert attention from the contractual obligations that Turbine owes to Atari. In response, today Atari served a motion to dismiss the entirety of Turbine’s lawsuit. Atari also filed a separate complaint to recover monies owed to Atari resulting from an independent third party audit of Turbine.
"While Atari hopes for a quick and fair resolution, it remains fully committed to the D&D communities worldwide and will vigorously protect the franchise and its own integrity in this matter."
Neither side is exactly mincing its words here. This one, we suspect, could get ugly.
Dungeons & Dragons Online is updated on 9th September with a new level cap, classes and content, and the introduction of the free-to-play DDO Unlimited in the US. We'll be revisiting the game, away from all this legal drama, soon.