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Star Trek Online: Kohnke Sues Perpetual

SzarkSzark News ManagerAnna Regina, NSPosts: 4,420Member

Kohnke Communications, a public relations firm which represents a number of MMO developers, is suing Perpetual Entertainment for breach of contract, several counts of fraud, and transferring assets, including Star Trek Online, to a new company before liquidating their assets.  The suit also claims that Gods and Heroes was canceled so that PE could avoid payments owed to Kohnke on the game's launch. Ten Ton Hammer has obtained court documents, and has further details on this story.

December 11, 2007 - Details surrounding Perpetual Entertainment's dealings subsequent to the cancellation of Gods & Heroes are coming to light as Ten Ton Hammer uncovered court documents of a new complaint just submitted to California's Superior Court last week. The allegation: the San Francisco-based developer fraudulently transferred valuable assets (like the Star Trek Online license) to an insider-owned corporation at a loss, leaving those with a financial stake in the now-defunct MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising without hope of payment save legal recourse.

According to documents received last Friday in California's Superior Court for the County of San Francisco, public relations firm Kohnke Communications, Inc. – best known for promoting the efforts of numerous MMORPG developers like EA Mythic, Red 5, Turbine, and NetDevil – is suing Perpetual Entertainment, Inc. for breach of contract, fraudulent transfer, fraud, and various other charges for damages between $80,000 and $290,000, perhaps much more in terms of punitive or exemplary damages.

The complaints stem from allegations that Perpetual sold valuable assets like the Star Trek Online (STO) license to P2 Entertainment, Inc., a thinly veiled yet separate corporate entity, before executing the Perpetual ABC or "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors" (a liquidation mechanism allowed by states like California as a less expensive alternative to the extensive litigation surrounding bankruptcy). The case could have drastic implications for future of the pre-alpha Star Trek Online title.

Read the full story on Ten Ton Hammer.

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Comments

  • GraffGraff NotsPosts: 83Member

    I can't see any way out of this for PE. What a shady affair.

  • aerogradaerograd Huntsville, ALPosts: 53Member

    Morons.   This is one reason why gamers have little to no faith in Dev companies.   Investors can't trust Devs either apparently.  Stuff like this will negatively affect the selection of future MMOs as potential investors become more and more wary of funding the development of some game that may, but most likely won't, ever make it to market. 

    IF this lawsuit ends up in finding PE guilty and liable of damages to the PR firm, then that should be reason enough to boycott STO. 

     

    Playing WoT now.

    Favorite All-Time Games: Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online

  • mcquillionmcquillion South Milwaukee, WIPosts: 18Member

    I think this is the nail in the coffin for Star Trek Online.  What a shame too...I was really looking forward to this.  :(

  • -Acidrain--Acidrain- Hesperia, CAPosts: 28Member

    Originally posted by mcquillion


    I think this is the nail in the coffin for Star Trek Online.  What a shame too...I was really looking forward to this.  :(

    Oh yeah, the final nail in Star Trek Gaming in general! Oh, just wait for Daron to spin this news somehow to his loyal Kool Aid drinkers over at STO-NET!

  • jinxitjinxit Belfast (Northern Ireland)Posts: 863Member

    Perpetual wont survive this law suit there already in huge trouble, key word "liquidation" says it all really and means the STO mmo shall enter limbo until another company comes along and breathes life into it.

  • GraffGraff NotsPosts: 83Member
    Originally posted by -Acidrain-


     
    Originally posted by mcquillion


    I think this is the nail in the coffin for Star Trek Online.  What a shame too...I was really looking forward to this.  :(

     

    Oh yeah, the final nail in Star Trek Gaming in general! Oh, just wait for Daron to spin this news somehow to his loyal Kool Aid drinkers over at STO-NET!

    sto.net arent exactly trying to spin this as positive, I dont think even daron can spin this one, and if he tries, I doubt anyone is going to believe it after this.

  • SouvecSouvec Paw Paw, MIPosts: 698Member
    Originally posted by jinxit


    Perpetual wont survive this law suit there already in huge trouble, key word "liquidation" says it all really and means the STO mmo shall enter limbo until another company comes along and breathes life into it.

    From what it looks like right now, I hope another company will start over with the IP, and take it to another direction, one where no man (or dev) has gone before... and make an original game off a familiar IP.

  • KeoghKeogh Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,099Member

     

     

    Well I guess that this means no 2008 release.

    But seriously, all but 2 of the posters over at STO.net are fairly disappointed in PE, and the other two are just hopeful that Stinnett has an explination.

    In my opinion, I think its likely Stinnet and the other top management at PE/P2/Perpetual LLC are looking at travel brochures and thinking about leaving the country.

     

    "Don't corpse-camp that idea. Its never gonna rez"
    Bladezz (The Guild)

  • naldricnaldric AlmadaPosts: 909Member

    I certainly hope this is the final nail in the coffin of this Star Treck thing... and I hope some nice devs finally pick up that IP!!! (much like, thanks god the first Warhammer online was cancelled to make place to this new one!!!)

  • KeoghKeogh Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,099Member

     

     

    Well I did a little research and found this:

    [Cal. Civ. Code § 3439.04]

    NOTE: California provides both civil and criminal penalties against a debtor who fraudulently moves property out of the state with the intent to defraud that can range up to $1,000 or 1-year imprisonment or both. [Cal. Penal Code § 154(a)] If the property transferred is greater than $100 then the crime is a felony. [Cal. Penal Code § 154]

    So, besides the debt and possibe fines, Joe Keene, Chris McKibbin, Richard Zinser and the famous Daron Stinnett are looking at possibly spending a year in jail.

    "Don't corpse-camp that idea. Its never gonna rez"
    Bladezz (The Guild)

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member

    Perpetual = Farlan

    Need I say more?  It is really such a shame, considered that Gods & Heroes was pretty good in beta.  This company could have done something good, but seems to have made all the wrong decisions, just like Farlan Entertainment did with Dark and Light.

  • streeastreea Dallas, TXPosts: 654Member

    Wow... just wow. It seemed strange that the company could sell off assets to a clone company before paying off their debts, and obviously they were called on it. It's a real shame that all of this has happened.

  • ScalebaneScalebane La Junta, COPosts: 2,225Member

    wow some of them at sto.net are the definition of real fanboi's and i'm not using that in a bad way, its just even with this new news ontop of all the other crap they still want to believe in PE.   I had bad feelings about this company and little by little they keep coming true, even if they settle this out of court or something there is now way in hell i would give PE any of my money ever.

    image

    "The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
    - Lewis Thomas

  • -Acidrain--Acidrain- Hesperia, CAPosts: 28Member

    They could give it to Bethsoft which made Legacy and have experience in the MMO and they have the IP on Startrek they could perhaps get the IP on the STO MMO. Though who would want the IP on the MMO though? Who would really want it after this has been one terrible thing after another. Perhaps its best to allow STO to RIP and the franchise as well.

    Though iam not surprised, though after Daron and his spin in the end of Nov about the liquidation of PE this guys has no bounds when it comes to his Kool Aid drinking spin when all the liquidation was public record he still spins. PE had no place building any game, i think the final nail in Star Trek gaming has just occurred. Startrek gaming is cursed franchise.

  • Thecrow12345Thecrow12345 Raleigh, NCPosts: 41Member

    I guess this is the final straw.  I could see the Star Trek License getting pulled from PE, and I hope it does.  Let us just pray another compitent company will pick up the license and start the game from scratch!

    Currently Playing: Nothing (waitinf for WAR)
    Retired: AC2, EVE, DAoC, EQ, WoW

  • jinxitjinxit Belfast (Northern Ireland)Posts: 863Member

    Originally posted by Thecrow12345


    I guess this is the final straw.  I could see the Star Trek License getting pulled from PE, and I hope it does.  Let us just pray another compitent company will pick up the license and start the game from scratch!
    I just noticed this on perpetuals own site

    "


    BioWare Corp. Licenses Perpetual Entertainment's Online Technology Platform for Upcoming MMO Game

    June 28, 2007 - BioWare's Austin studio has licensed Perpetual's online technology platform for an upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) title. The agreement gives BioWare - the company best known for their award-winning Baldur's Gate™ and Neverwinter Nights™ series, as well as the 2003 Game of the Year, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ - the platform to deploy and support its online titles utilizing Perpetual's industry-leading technology for online game operations, deployment, infrastructure development, and community support."

     

    Seeing Bioware have the tech the original STO is based on they could take up the license, does sound nice but what would lucasarts say about that?

    A KOTOR mmo = more like KOTOR for the Wii

    A Bioware STO = Yes please!

  • SlaserXSlaserX Tempe, AZPosts: 37Member

    Bioware bought the payment/support systems from Perpetual, but with Bioware being bought out, pending the end of this year, I think EA is going to replace Perpetual's system with their own.

     

    I dont see Bioware ending up with STO. I could see EA, but I dont know about that.

    What I'm interested in seeing is, will STO be thrown up for auction, and who's going to buy it? What is Gravity going to be doing about their wht, 8? 9 million loss from Perpetual? It would be interesting to see them finally end up with the STO license.

     

    As for Perpetual, who's to say they even did any development? There has been very little evidence of anything workable in the beginning. This may have been their plan from the beginning, defraud debtors and run off with their money and license to a valuable IP.

  • OrionStarOrionStar On a CamelPosts: 378Member

    Well that's the end of STO... shame.

  • airborne519airborne519 Portland, ORPosts: 542Member

    well, I certainly wouldn't give money to a company that conducts themselves this way...

    image

  • SlaserXSlaserX Tempe, AZPosts: 37Member

    Originally posted by OrionStar


    Well that's the end of STO... shame.

    I'm confused. Why does everyone think this is going to be the end of STO? The game is starting out with bad press, but that just means more people will know about the game when it finally comes out. The value of the Star Trek IP is immense, right up there with Star Wars... so why would anyone pass on such a possibility?

  • jinxitjinxit Belfast (Northern Ireland)Posts: 863Member

    posted by SlaserX

    "Bioware bought the payment/support systems from Perpetual, but with Bioware being bought out, pending the end of this year, I think EA is going to replace Perpetual's system with their own.

     

    I dont see Bioware ending up with STO. I could see EA, but I dont know about that.

    What I'm interested in seeing is, will STO be thrown up for auction, and who's going to buy it? What is Gravity going to be doing about their wht, 8? 9 million loss from Perpetual? It would be interesting to see them finally end up with the STO license.

     

    As for Perpetual, who's to say they even did any development? There has been very little evidence of anything workable in the beginning. This may have been their plan from the beginning, defraud debtors and run off with their money and license to a valuable IP."

    There is one company thats taken a well loved IP and has actually got the respect and love from the IP's fan base which is a very hard thing to do and that company is Turbine with Lord of the rings.

    As for that screen shot, the first time i seen it i instantly thought it looked remarkably like SWG's Jump to lightspeed

    PS. sorry forgot to quote so just pasted :p

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member
    Originally posted by SlaserX


     
    Originally posted by OrionStar


    Well that's the end of STO... shame.

     

    I'm confused. Why does everyone think this is going to be the end of STO? The game is starting out with bad press, but that just means more people will know about the game when it finally comes out. The value of the Star Trek IP is immense, right up there with Star Wars... so why would anyone pass on such a possibility?

    Its not just about the money, the license is also at stake here. As it could be found to have been illegally transfered (IE: the Fraud part).



    [quote]The complaints stem from allegations that Perpetual sold valuable assets like the Star Trek Online (STO) license to P2 Entertainment, Inc., a thinly veiled yet separate corporate entity, before executing the Perpetual ABC or "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors" (a liquidation mechanism allowed by states like California as a less expensive alternative to the extensive litigation surrounding bankruptcy). The case could have drastic implications for future of the pre-alpha Star Trek Online title.[/quote]



    ADD version: PE was dieing, made a copy company (same people ETC...), sold them the license (on the cheep), there by removing a potential item(s) that could have been sold to pay off debits. Basically, gutting the cow, and leaving the empty shell (proped up with sticks) to the wolves (People they owe money to).



    This should help illustrate whats happened.

    Ninja

     

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member

    I think this is great news for Star Trek MMORPG fans across the globe. Hopefully Star Trek's license will now be pulled and given to a more competent company.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • SlaserXSlaserX Tempe, AZPosts: 37Member

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by SlaserX


     
    Originally posted by OrionStar


    Well that's the end of STO... shame.

     

    I'm confused. Why does everyone think this is going to be the end of STO? The game is starting out with bad press, but that just means more people will know about the game when it finally comes out. The value of the Star Trek IP is immense, right up there with Star Wars... so why would anyone pass on such a possibility?

    Its not just about the money, the license is also at stake here. As it could be found to have been illegally transfered (IE: the Fraud part).



    [quote]The complaints stem from allegations that Perpetual sold valuable assets like the Star Trek Online (STO) license to P2 Entertainment, Inc., a thinly veiled yet separate corporate entity, before executing the Perpetual ABC or "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors" (a liquidation mechanism allowed by states like California as a less expensive alternative to the extensive litigation surrounding bankruptcy). The case could have drastic implications for future of the pre-alpha Star Trek Online title.[/quote]



    ADD version: PE was dieing, made a copy company (same people ETC...), sold them the license (on the cheep), there by removing a potential item(s) that could have been sold to pay off debits. Basically, gutting the cow, and leaving the empty shell (proped up with sticks) to the wolves (People they owe money to).



    This should help illustrate whats happened.

    Ninja

     

     

    Uh... yeah, I can read dude. I know what this is all about, but as I said above, I dont know why people in this thread are saying "the sky is falling oh noes its over no STO, etc." Hence the point of my post, hence the point you missed.

  • saurinsaurin Port Washington, WIPosts: 19Member

    After seeing the first screenshot that was posted and some of the stuff Perpetual says they plan on doing with the game quite frankly I hope someone else gets the IP.  Perpetuals buisness ethics just reinforce the need for a new dev for STO.

    Freemen

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