Novelist Robert Crais has dropped his lawsuit against Activision and other parties involved with True Crime: Streets of LA, which is due out today in Europe.
Crais had alleged that True Crime's lead character Nick Kang was, shall we say, "inspired" by his own creation, grisly cop-type person Elvis Cole. Activision has reportedly convinced Crais that this is not the case, and the game's release has not been affected.
Interestingly, Crais has since updated his website to comment on the lawsuit. Apparently the suit was originally based on "several articles and interviews published on gaming websites," and Activision were keen to set the record straight.
"They allowed me and my lawyers full access to a special 'unlocked' pre-release version of the game, provided a complete game 'script,' flowcharts of game action, and provided all-important clarifications to statements that had been attributed to [lead designer] Mr. Morawiec (turns out the guy was a fan of my work, and was simply expressing his admiration)," he explained. "In short, they did a damned fine job of defusing what could have been an ugly situation."
Perhaps we're cynical, but it all seems to have turned out rather well for both parties. Here is Robert Crais, a novelist we would probably never have heard about any other way, scoring a load of free publicity amongst gamers who are about to become embroiled in a game world similar - though clearly legally distinct - to the writer's own works. And here is Activision, launching a game which renowned crime writer Robert Crais describes as an "amazing game".
Still, we like Activision's approach in this case, and that's why later this month we'll be filing suit against Id Software over Doom III, Valve over Half-Life 2, Nintendo over Mario 128 and Bungie over Halo 2. Obviously they all infringe on our existing properties, and we're keen for the developers to dispel our concerns. Drop us a line chaps, and we'll tell you where to send the games...