Following on from yesterday's announcement that Rocksmith would be coming to the UK on September 14th, Dealspwn has learned that disputes over the name and its trademark are still ongoing, according to Rocksmith band member Kris Ford.
"No agreement/deal has been reached [with Ubisoft], and no meaningful dialogue engaged," said Ford, in a statement to Dealspwn this morning.
Responding to the Ubisoft's announcement of Rocksmith the game's release later this year, Ford suggested that it was "interesting, but no surprise", pointing out that Ubisoft had done much the same thing in the United States: reportedly moving forward with the release in spite of trademark disputes.
"I’d recently discovered information indicating a late summer release," said Ford. "However with the OHIM (European) proceedings over the disputed trademark set to last for at least another 2 – 3 months (May/June) it’s a bit presumptive to say the least, as to the outcome of that process and decision.
"The game was launched in the US even in the face of a (still ongoing) duplicate trademark dispute. It is simply and typically indicative of [Ubisoft]’s attitude. Even if Ubisoft lose with the OHIM process they could still launch as per the US. Which will mean the start of a different kind of legal battle in the UK courts. In the absence of honour, ethics, and fair play, we have to rely on the legal processes for a fair resolution."
When we spoke to Ford last year, he revealed the reasoning behind standing up to Ubisoft on this matter, outlining the arduous process of gaining reputation as a band and watching that get threatened and "swept aside" by Ubisoft's actions, particularly online.
"Its not just about losing the name," said Ford last year. "Before their product was even launched there was a mass of PR material on the internet. And I mean MASS, there was lots of official PR but also loads of spurious stuff posted on Forums and Youtube. Our unfinanced efforts have been simply swamped and swept aside. Already people are thinking we are a covers band or whatever and its not good at all. [The band and I] have invested heavily into Rocksmith and not just in financial terms. Getting known is tough enough without someone throwing millions at usurping you. Rocksmith were at the Vans Warped Tour! No they were not, Ubisoft were!!!"
Several months on, and it would seem that Ford is still up to his neck in "legal BS", as he puts it, but he's quick to point out that he has no issue with the game itself, although he revealed that this process has led to a certain amount of "abuse" from some corners of the gaming community.
"That UK/EU launch date is quite close to my birthday and the OHIM decision should have been reached and settled by then. Either way I shall look upon it as a present especially as it should stop the malicious and threatening abuse from dim witted potential Ubisoft customers. I am genuinely pleased for the gamers/musicians who have been frustrated by the delay caused by Ubisoft’s decision making."
We're excited for Rocksmith's release later this year, but we can't help but feel this could all have been handled far better by Ubisoft. Needless to say we've contacted them for comment.