A Beyonce video game lawsuit was given permission to move forward by a New York Superior Court judge on Thursday.
The Beyonce video game lawsuit first emerged in April 2011, and alleges that the star unlawfully abandoned her contract on a motion-sensing dance game called Starpower: Beyonce. Game developer Gate Five says it was working on the game when Beyonce allegedly demanded ‘new compensation terms’ before abandoning the game altogether.
Beyonce has attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed on two occasions, but the New York appeals court said on Thursday that there were “triable issues” as to whether the singer had breached the licensing deal between her and Gate Five.
The Beyonce video game lawsuit could easily cost the musician an eye-watering sum of money. Court documents show Gate Five is demanding “the hundreds of millions of dollars in profits that Gate Five could have realized if [Beyonce] had honored the Agreement.”
Beyonce has already attempted to have the lawsuit thrown out once before. Last April, a judge denied the musician’s motion for summary judgment after her legal team argued that Beyonce had a right to cancel the video game contract because Gate Five had failed to obtain a necessary $5 million financing commitment.
Thursday’s decision means the 32-year-old singer won’t be shaking the lawsuit anytime soon, with the New York appellate court supporting the lower court’s order.
Gate Five claimed to have developed a technology superior to that of other motion-sensing video games on the market. The studio says it had approached representatives for other top-selling artists, and that the likes of Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas had expressed interest (the latter ended up fronting a rival game, The Black Eyed Peas Experience for the Wii).
Gate Five eventually closed a deal with Beyonce, though the contract had a termination clause stipulating that a certain level of financing was to be obtained by a specific date. If this funding was not acquired, the singer could walk away from the deal.
Gate Five alleges that an investor had agreed to inject $19.2 million in financing when Beyonce terminated the deal. The studio also accuses the singer of demanding a new compensation package before walking away from the agreement on Christmas Eve 2010.
While the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has stated the Beyonce video game lawsuit must continue, this does not mean the singer is necessarily at fault, but that evidence must be presented to a jury to decide whether she honored the contract.
The appeals court ruling states:
“In addition, whether the non-finalized financing agreements obtained by plaintiff prior to the financing contingency deadline and prior to defendants’ termination of the agreements constituted ‘committed financing,’ which term is not defined in the agreement, remains an issue for the trier of fact. The record also raises issues as to whether defendants’ own actions or bad faith caused or prevented plaintiff from securing financing by the deadline … and whether plaintiff is entitled to an injunction to prevent defendants from utilizing their services in a competing video game project during the prescribed period.”