Sept 28 (Reuters) - A publisher of licensed movie-themed tabletop games sued Netflix (NFLX.O) in California federal court on Thursday, accusing it of breaching a contract for a game tied to the streaming giant's forthcoming science-fiction movie "Rebel Moon".
The lawsuit by San Mateo, California-based Evil Genius Games said Netflix falsely claimed that it broke its confidentiality obligations in order to seize the rights to the game and related materials.
Representatives for Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
Evil Genius' attorney John Fowler said on Thursday that the company "put heart, soul and tremendous resources and skill into the Rebel Moon tabletop role-playing game project, only to be abruptly shoved aside for no justifiable reason."
Evil Genius has made licensed role-playing games based on film franchises including "Rambo," "Highlander" and "Pacific Rim." The lawsuit said Netflix and "Rebel Moon" director Zack Snyder were "blown away" by its pitch for a game based on the new sci-fi film, which is set to be released in December.
According to the complaint, Evil Genius completed the game in May, along with an extensive, 228-page "world bible" with a "cohesive backstory" for the "Rebel Moon" universe that Snyder and Netflix indicated they would use in the film and planned spinoffs.
The lawsuit said Netflix wrongly accused Evil Genius of releasing confidential content and unapproved artwork at a board-game trade show in April, using the allegations as a pretext to "assert ownership over Plaintiff's intellectual property, halt the project, and prevent the game from being released (or potentially release it themselves to avoid sharing the profits)."
Evil Genius said in the complaint that it sought to reclaim its rights in the game and world bible. It asked the court to order Netflix to comply with their contract and requested an unspecified amount of money damages.
The case is Evil Genius Games Inc v. Netflix CPX LLC, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:23-cv-08117.
For Evil Genius: John Fowler of Kibler Fowler & Cave
For Netflix: attorney information not yet available