Row over aborted Beyonce dancing game

The developer of a Beyonce Knowles dancing game says it is over $100m out of pocket now the superstar has pulled out of the project.

New York studio Gate Five is suing Beyonce for "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."

Game Five says that it had to fire 70 staff and incurred over $6m of costs during the early development of the game once Beyonce had backed out.

The court documents say the singer known for songs like Crazy in Love and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it) "made an extortionate demand for entirely new compensation terms she wanted".

Whent that manoeuvre "backfired and drove away the financier (who found [Knowles] too erratic to do business with), she pulled out of the project in breach of the agreement."

Apparently, Beyonce’s negotiation tactics were "so unscrupulous that her then manager (who is also her father) renounced them."

"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 with New York Magazine.

"We’d much rather make a game than litigate. But we want to recover damages that Gate Five suffered."

The game would have been a dance game for motion sensor peripherals, and Gate Five says the game would’ve accrued revenues of over $100m in total.

They’re not wrong – dancing games are currently big business, with the most recent hit Michael Jackson: The Experience, shifting well over 3m units worldwide. Although whether the game would’ve made it to market in time take advantage of this genre boom is not clear.

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