Marvelous AQL Being Sued By Indie Studio For Alleged Hostile Takeover


Marvelous AQL and localization subsidiary, Xseed, are being sued by an independent developer, according to a Gamasutra report.


Checkpoint, the studio in question, are taking Marvelous AQL to court, claiming that the publisher attempted a hostile takeover and to avoid a $2.5 million payment.


Marvelous AQL allegedly paid Checkpoint $2.5 million as a start-up cost in return for a 35% share of the company and two shipped games by the end of 2012. As part of the deal, Marvelous were to pay another $2.5 million for another two titles shipped in 2013. According to the deal, Checkpoint’s CEO, Brian Wiklem, would retain the remaining shares of his company.


Checkpoint made good on their end of the deal and released two games—AviNation and Party Politics—but Wiklem says that Marvelous are now declining to negotiate the second deal for 2013 and are withholding payments as well.


Wiklem also claims that Marvelous attempted to a hostile takeover of Checkpoint by attempting to buy a majority share in the company from another shareholder, Christopher Masterton, and that, when they were unsuccessful in doing so, they hired away 14 of Checkpoint’s development staff along with Masterston, leaving the company unable to function.


Finally, the complaint filed against Marvelous AQL also claims that the former Checkpoint employees, now supposedly employed at Xseed, are illegally using Checkpoint technology and assets, and that Masterton is withholding login and password information for essential Checkpoint accounts, including their Facebook page.


Checkpoint’s suit against Marvelous AQL claims “at least $5 million” in damages.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.