Rock Band 3

Following MTV’s purchase of Harmonix in 2006, the music genre became a huge business and subsequently crashed, resulting in the developer being sold earlier this year. In the midst of all this, there has been a dispute between MTV parent company Viacom and the former shareholders of Harmonix regarding whether a $150 million bonus is indeed owed to the shareholders. A new lawsuit filed by Viacom indicates how serious it is about getting much of that money back.

Early last year, Viacom stated that it was seeking a partial refund of the money it paid out. Later in the year, Harmonix’s former shareholders filed a lawsuit against Viacom alleging that the company was not properly handling bonus payments and that they were in fact owed even more money. Viacom denied this was the case before moving on to to sell the company to investment group Columbus Nova for virtually no money; doing so netted it a substantial tax deduction.

This new lawsuit was filed by Viacom on Friday, September 16, in a Delaware court. Claiming that the bonus payments were previously calculated incorrectly, it’s looking to get a refund of $131,827,980 of the $149,770,149 it paid when it acquired Harmonix, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Experts indicated it’s an unusual thing for a company to do; it apparently really wants that money.

It’ll likely take some time to work things out given how much money is at stake. Meanwhile, last year’s lawsuit filed against Viacom has yet to be resolved.

Harmonix is the Cambridge, Massachusetts developer originally responsible for the Guitar Hero series, as well as the creator of Rock Band. It just recently released iOS app VidRhythm and is currently working on games for both Vita and 3DS while the Rock Band series takes a breather.

By Chris Pereira