Oh, snap! Looks like Viacom was ready with a statement, and let Gamasutra know it’s feeling relatively quickly. Viacom states that they gave Harmonix’s ex-shareholders every opportunity to receive favorable payments, and the fingers should be pointed at their representative, Walter Winshall, and not it.
“Viacom fulfilled its contractual obligations and our actions were completely appropriate and consistent with the terms of our agreement with Harmonix shareholders and the interests of our shareholders. Mr. Winshall made a decision to spurn our early proposals, which were highly favorable to the stockholders he represented. He failed to get the unjustified windfall he hoped for and as a result damaged those shareholders, who are obligated to repay amounts already received. Having failed in his game, he is attempting to rewrite the contract and history with false and irrelevant claims, no doubt to protect himself from the very unhappy stockholders he represents.”
Could this be true? Was there a situation where Harmonix ex-shareholders’ representation turned down the agreed-upon bonus payment, hoping for something more? Or is this a situation of Viacom hitting the panic button on an acquisition it couldn’t properly integrate into its corporate portfolio of subsidiaries and instead exercise “creative accounting” to solve its predicament? While I may not have been privy to the situation, it strikes me odd that Viacom’s response to an “unjustified windfall” bonus request was to breach the contract and pay a lower than agreed upon bonus payment.