Atari gets sued for $5 million

By RollerCoaster Tycoon dev.

Chris Sawyer, the developer behind the highly successful PC sim series RollerCoaster Tycoon, is suing publisher Atari for nearly USD 5 million in alleged unpaid royalties.

Sawyer claims that Atari acted in breach of contract by refusing to give auditors full access to accounts between 1999-2001. Following a desktop review and analysis carried out by his own auditors, Sawyer claims that Atari Interactive owes him USD 4.8 million in omitted and miscalculated payments.

He is also attempting to claim reimbursement for interest lost and legal costs, and is petitioning for the right to carry out a full audit from January 1, 1999 to the present day.

Last week the High Court ruled that the case must be tried in London - and not, as Atari had petitioned for, in New York.

Marjacq Micro's Guy Herbert, who is acting as Sawyer's agent, commented: "Throughout this process Atari Interactive has sought to delay the claims. Royalty queries were simply ignored, forcing an audit; non-cooperation with the audit forced Chris to sue. Thankfully this ruling should put paid to that, and an end is in sight."

"If Chris proves his claim that Atari Interactive has failed to account properly and substantially underpaid, it could have major ramifications for the industry as well as the company."

A spokesperson for Atari declined to comment.

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