Friday March 13,2015 : NEW JERSEY GAMES DEVELOPER SUES I.G.T.
High 5 Games claims unpaid royalties flowing from gambling features used on 81 games.
A tough legal fight is shaping up in a Chicago court this week following the filing of a case in which New Jersey-based games developer High 5 Games claims that International Game Technology violated numerous conditions of a licensing agreement and failed to pay the company royalties on 81 different game titles.
Court documents suggest that IGT used licensed game features agreed on in 2012 on some of its slot machines but failed to pay the requisite royalties.
Some of the slots involved are identified as Star Wars, Elvis, Sex and the City and Ghostbusters.
The claim by High 5 notes that the agreement has since been terminated, but that IGT has failed to make payments agreed to, has failed to cease distribution of certain games, and has "…failed to abandon, cancel, or assign to High 5 Games certain trademark filings."
IGT is also accused of using the offending games as part of its social gaming subsidary DoubleDown Casino offering.
Approached by media as part of a right of reply offer, IGT declined to comment on grounds that the matter was now the subject of litigation.
High 5 has asked the court for damages, and an order that IGT cease using the games containing High 5 features.
The documents chart a commercial history between the two companies that goes back to 2003, when a licensing agreement was first signed. This was extended in 2008, with many of IGT's most popular slots produced by High 5, including Golden Goddess, DaVinci Diamonds and Cats.
In 2011 the licence agreement came to a close and the two companies found themselves in disagreement over game distribution.
High 5 now claims that in order to avoid penalties under the 2008 agreement, IGT negotiated a new agreement for over a year, and this was signed in 2012 and forms the basis for the current claims against IGT.
IGT is currently in the final stages of completing a merger agreement with GTech, which will see the combined companies going forward under mainly IGT branding