A US court has ruled that media giant Viacom must pay $299m to the shareholders of games developer Harmonix, after a long-running dispute over bonus payments for sales of the Rock Band games. The new ruling, in the Delaware Supreme Court, follows previous rulings that had gone in Harmonix’s favour. It all relates to bonus payments due to Harmonix in 2007 and 2008, following its acquisition by Viacom in 2006. The two companies have been locked in legal battle since September 2011 (Bulletin, 20-Sep-11) over Viacom’s refusal to pay amid claims that the bonus payments were miscalculated. So why does this old and (posibly) now-settled lawsuit matter in 2013? Well, Harmonix remains active in the music-games space, so a chunk of that $299m is likely to further fuel its ambitions to make new titles. The developer has made hay with its Dance Central console games in recent years, and in June this year announced a deal with Disney to make Fantasia: Music Evolved – an Xbox 360 / One game that will launch next year with music from a host of modern artists (Bulletin, 5-Jun-13). Harmonix has also dipped its toes in the smartphone waters with the release of music-creation app VidRhythm in 2011.

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