Rune II Publisher Sues RUNE II Developers

Ragnarok Game has filed a legal complaint against Nine Realms (Human Head), Chris Rinehart, Ben Gokey, and Paul MacArthur over the circumstances surrounding the recent launch of Rune II, the closure of Human Head Studios, and subsequent actions from the former principals of Human Head (thanks Gamasutra). They are demanding a jury trial over their accusations of Breach of Contract, Fraudulent Concealment, Conversion, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Negligent Representation, and Unfair Business Practices. Here's a portion of the complaint leveling some damning accusations:
8. Despite earlier assurances from Human Head that it would not do anything to damage the Rune II launch or Ragnarok, less than 24 hours after the launch, Human Head publicly announced its acquisition by Bethesda — Ragnarok's competitor. Human Head did not inform Ragnarok at any time that Human Head was seeking an acquisition partner or otherwise looking to make a corporate change. Whether because of malice or greed or a nefarious attempt to regain the valuable Rune intellectual property, or all of the above, there can be no question that Human Head timed the announcement to maximize damage to Ragnarok and Rune II.

9. In summary: (a) Human Head entered into a long-term agreement with Ragnarok — the whole goal of which was to launch Rune II and to provide the necessary support for its commercial success, (b) Human Head accepted millions of dollars in payment, but failed to perform, (c) instead of curing its deficient work, Human Head secretly conspired to abandon Ragnarok and the Rune II community in an apparent attempt to defraud and harm Ragnarok and the game, and (d) Human Head timed the unveiling of its plan to cause maximum damage.

10. But Human Head's fraud and malice did not stop there. Human Head's Principals -- Ben Gokey, Christopher Rhinehart, and Paul MacArthur - tried one last stunt to damage Ragnarok, Rune II, and the Rune II community. They held hostage certain game code and property that unequivocally belonged to Ragnarok, refusing to transfer the property absent additional payments for work that had never been completed.

11. By this time, Ragnarok had learned its lesson. Ragnarok refused to be blackmailed and pay the ransom, repeatedly requesting the return of its property. What did Ben Gokey, Christopher Rhinehart, and Paul MacArthur do? They made unauthorized alterations to the code and attempted (unsuccessfully) to make public the unauthorized changes. Of course, since Human Head no longer existed, Gokey, Rhinehart, and MacArthur were not altering the code on behalf of
Human Head. Regardless, alter the code they did.