Beyonce Facing $100 Million Lawsuit For Video Game Deal Gone Bad

Beyonce Knowles may know how to shake that ham, but a certain company says she ruined Christmas and has to pay the price. According to court documents (a summons) filed this week in Manhattan Supreme Court by game developer Gate Five, a partnership with the singer went sour after she asked for more money last December. Gate Five was working with Beyonce on a music-themed dance game called Starpower: Beyonce.

Things went sour when Beyonce demanded more money. This, the developer claims, caused it to lay off over 70 employees before Christmas and abandon development on the game. It also spooked investors, they claim.

The "soon-to-be-filed" lawsuit calls Beyonce’s demands "a bad faith breach of contract so callous that, on what appeared to be a whim, she destroyed Gate Five’s business and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas."

Gate Five’s complaint adds that Beyonce’s actions were "so unscrupulous that her then manager [who is also her father] renounced them." New York Magazine adds more flavor to the story, with comments from Gate Five founder Greg Easley:

"In early December everything was still a go. And then the week of Christmas, she said that’s it, I don’t want to hear from you guys, go away, resulting in 70 people losing their jobs," said Gate Five founder Greg Easley in an interview. "We’d much rather make a game than litigate. But we want to recover damages that Gate Five suffered."

Gate Five is seeking $100 million in damages. The summon can be read here (PDF).

Sources: The Scoop, New York Magazine

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  1. 0
    Grif says:

    Beyoncé Knowles: The first, and only, woman who got rich by making albums comprised entirely of choruses. Not a single verse to be found.


    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

    Atlanta Video Games Examiner for

  2. 0
    Slipperman says:

    I’m obviously going to side with the game developers on this one.

    First of all, I think Beyonce sucks…she has no talent, and she is ANNOYINGLY and DISGUSTINGLY overhyped by the media for what she’s worth.

    Secondly, with the US economy in the slump it is currently in, I find it ridiculous that people are being forced out of work, forced out of their homes, forced to pay more than $4 a gallon for gas, and Congress talking about cutting spending for programs important to helping the less privileged people of our country…while Beyonce is just making millions upon millions of dollars for doing nothing except sing off-key and force her likeness down our throats.

    Personally I really hope that this lawsuit hits Beyonce hard where it hurts. It would be one of the best cases of karmic retribution that I’ve ever witnessed. But given my horrible luck and her money/power/clout, it probably won’t happen – she’ll probably end up finding the best lawyers that money could buy to defend her in the case…

    Why would any real gamer want to play a video game with Beyonce in it, anyway? (Unless she’s one of the final evil villains in it, that is…)

  3. 0
    Atrayo says:

    The game developer made one costly mistake, which was to put all its eggs into this one deal with "Beyonce". I don’t know what other games they have developed in the past or were currently developing besides this dance game.


    Also, anyone doing business with "Beyonce Knowles" will have to becareful. Those considering doing business with her may get spooked with this lawsuit. It paints her as a Diva and very little responsibility with her side business ventures.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    *nods* unless they are stupid (which is always a possiblity) the two main possiblities are either


    (a) They had a contract that they can reasonably argue she acted in bad faith on or outright violated 

    (b) They are hoping to give her enough bad PR that she settles.

  5. 0
    Shahab says:

    Did they have a contract in place or what? If so they may have legal standing, otherwise why were they sinking so many resources into a game without all the big variables tacked down?

  6. 0
    Left4Dead says:

    "Beyonce Knowles may know how to shake that ham…"

    What ham?  There is no ham in the photo.

    – Left4Dead

    Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

    -- Left4Dead --

  7. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    Standard legal tactic, you always state the absolute maximum amount of damages you might be entitled to or that you even think you could get because often the court will use that as a theoretical max.

    If, for example, you say "We seek $7,000,000" often that’s the absolute max the judge or jury will give you even if the evidence indicates you might be entitled to $10,000,000. Mostly it’s just to not createa a false damage cap.

    Additionally, laws often provide for punitive damages or things like treble damages which are designed not only to compensate you but also to punish the defendant for bad faith actions. 

  8. 0
    Chris Kimberley says:

    I somehow doubt that they actually suffered $100 million in damages because they didn’t make their dance game. 


    Chris Kimberley

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