‘Rock Band’ Founders Sue Viacom Over Payout

When bands break up, things often get ugly. Apparently, it’s no different in the virtual band world.

Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, founders of Harmonix—the company that developed the video game hit Rock Band—are suing Viacom, which acquired the company in 2006. Rigopulos and Egozy, along with several other early Harmonix investors, are accusing Viacom of avoiding a big payout to Harmonix’ shareholders, according to Gamasutra.

The lawsuit alleges that Viacom has been trying to find ways to reduce the amount of cash it was required to pay Harmonix backers since buying the company for $175 million. Based on the purchase agreement, Viacom owed the original Harmonix team a certain percentage of the profits from Rock Band, which was a massive hit when it debuted in 2007.

But more recently, Viacom has been looking to unload Harmonix, as sales of Rock Band’s more recent versions have slipped significantly.