Evil Genius Games sued Netflix on Thursday for wrongful termination in relation to plans to create a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) based on director Zack Snyder’s sci-fi action fantasy “Rebel Moon.”
Filed in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, the filing – which TheWrap has obtained – alleges that Netflix signed an agreement in March of 2023 to make a game with the promise of a delivery date aligned with the film’s intended Dec. 22, 2023 release date.
Evil Genius, a table-top game company founded in 2021 that previously developed games based on “The Crow,” “Highlander,” “Pacific Rim,” “Universal Soldier” and “Escape from New York” among others, claims to have paid Netflix for the license with an agreement to share profits.
The lawsuit claims that they agreed to pay Netflix an upfront licensing fee of $7,500, followed by payments of $7,500 by Feb. 1, 2024, and $10,000 by Feb. 1, 2025, as well as to “share profits derived from the Licensed Articles with Netflix.”
The suit argues that the company stopped other work to focus on this high-profile project and by May of 2023 had crafted a 228-page World Bible which expanded upon Snyder’s concepted universe. They also claim to have made 430-page players guide and a 337-page game master’s guide.
According to the suit, the company even supplied “missing background information vital to the story as a whole and to the world” and “a cohesive backstory for the entire ‘Rebel Moon’ franchise.”
However, on May 25, 2023, Netflix terminated the agreement with Evil Genius and claimed the company had violated confidentiality provisions by sharing artwork at an industry trade show a month prior. The company says it had sent the artwork to Netflix before the event – the Game Manufacturers Association Expo – and Netflix had approved its use.
Two weeks later, Netflix notified the company that all of its work on the project “belongs solely to and exclusively to Netflix.” The suit alleged that Netflix refused to honor its agreement with Evil Genius to allow the release of the game and compensate the company for its work.
The suit further alleges that “It became that Netflix was simply using the alleged breach and termination to hijack [Evil Genius’] intellectual property and prevent [Evil Genius] from releasing the game.’’
“Our aim is to ensure our team is recognized for their fantastic work, and that we can release this game for millions of TTRPG enthusiasts to enjoy,’’ Evil Genius CEO David Scott said. “It’s disheartening to see Netflix backpedal on content that was jointly showcased and had received their prior consent. We urge our supporters to contact Netflix and Zack Snyder to push for the release of this game.’’
Representatives for Netflix have thus far not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.