When two parties agree to combine their respective resources or knowledge in a business venture, it is important to first draft, finalize, and sign a legally binding contract. Retaining outside counsel experienced in the practice of business contracts may be a good way to avoid the later need for business litigation. One recent example of a contract litigation case illustrates the importance of creating a clear and enforceable contract.

Video Game Royalties Subject of Suit and Countersuit

The Grand Theft Auto series of video games is one of the most popular and successful examples electronic entertainment in the past few decades. However, both sides of the team responsible for the development of the games are facing lawsuits stemming from a royalties contract that is alleged to have been breached.

The issue began when the original plaintiff, Les Benzies, claimed he was encouraged to take a sabbatical after the release of the latest game in the series, but upon returning to the company six months later, he learned that he was barred from entering the offices. Benzies is suing his former partners for what he believes totals more than $150 million in royalties that have gone unpaid since he was forced out of the company. The plaintiff maintains that the royalty plan he signed in 2009 placed him on even ground with his partners.

In response, Benzies’ former partners, Sam and Dan Houser, have filed a countersuit in which they claim Benzies’ extended leave from the office was of his own doing, and not some agreed upon retreat, and for that reason, he is not entitled to post-termination royalty payments. Benzies claims in his suit that there was mounting resentment, and the Houser brothers were attempting to force him out of the company.

Also involved in the litigation are the various production and development companies representing both sides, for whom they worked while creating the video game series. These companies have filed a countersuit claiming Benzies was in breach of contract and no longer entitled to further compensation.

Retain a Resourceful California Business Contract Attorney to Protect Your Interests

Crafting a sound contract will not only support a profitable partnership or business relationship, but it can often save a company money. However, sometimes even the best contracts are violated, and in these cases, it becomes necessary to rely on an experienced business litigation attorney. At SAC Attorneys LLP, we can help you file a breach of contract suit to pursue favorable judgments and compensatory damages. Contact our Santa Clara County business law attorneys by calling 408-436-0789 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.