Viacom ordered to pay Harmonix $383 million
by Alice O'Connor, shacknews.com, Dec 28, 2011 6:45AM PST
When Rock Band developer and its former owner Viacom argued over who exactly owed whom money from bonuses, resolution accountants were called in to sort out the mess.
Former Harmonix shareholders sued Viacom in December 2010, alleging that they were owed substantial bonuses. In retaliation, Viacom counter-sued, saying that the shareholders actually ought to repay Viacom $131 million of the $150 million they received in 2007. Viacom had promised performance-based bonuses for that year and the next when it bought bought Harmonix, but only paid out once. It claimed that only around $18 million had ever been owed.
After a good rummage in the books, the jointly-appointed arbitrator has decided that Viacom owes Harmonix $383 million, Gamasutra reports. Viacom's unsurprisingly displeased with this, and yesterday filed suit claiming that the accounting firm had made a "manifest error," asking that it "consider arguments and evidence that were improperly excluded."
Viacom offloaded Harmonix in December 2010, selling the studio back to itself, reportedly for only $49.99. It wasn't a seamless transition, with layoffs striking in February 2011, but Harmonix is now working on "multiple new music games" beyond its Rock Band and Dance Central franchises.