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Driver creator gets $4 million

Atari agrees to cough up.

Reflections Interactive founder Martin Edmondson has withdrawn his claim of unfair dismissal against Atari after the publisher agreed a settlement deal worth more than $4 million.

Edmondson, whose studio created the multi-million selling Driver series, resigned from Reflections in December 2004. Financial documents released last week by Atari, as reported by Gamasutra, reveal that Edmondson filed suit the following March, alleging "constructive unfair dismissal as a result of Reflections alleged repudiatory breach of a contract of employment that necessitated Mr. Edmondson’s resignation."

The documents state that Edmondson withdrew his claim last August after reaching a settlement agreement with Atari. The publisher agreed to issue Edmondson with 1,557,668 shares, valued at $2.1 million, plus a cash payment of $2.2 million.

It was also agreed that the cash payment would be made in twelve monthly instalments starting September 1st, 2005, and that Edmondson would also receive a one-off lump sum of $400,000 along with the first payment.

Edmondson founded Reflections in 1984 and the studio was best known for producing Amiga classic Shadow of the Beast, before the first instalment in the Driver series became one of the best-selling titles for the original PlayStation.

The sequel, although not as good, also shifted a lot of copies, and there were high hopes for the first PS2 Driver game - Driv3r. But sadly, it turned out to be hugely disappointing, undoubtedly contributing to the rift between Edmondson and Atari.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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