By John Walker on October 26th, 2011 at 2:01 pm.
You may remember that Richard “I Wish I Were Still Lord British” Garriott de Cayeux was suing NCSoft for fifty gajillion dollars. Well, he’s won.
Garriott de Cayeux, who lives in a castle orbiting 1200ft above the Earth, brought the claims against the MMO publisher after they had something of a difference of opinion over his contract. He claimed that NCSoft had pretended he’d voluntarily left the company, shortly after his visit to the International Space Station (no, really), which meant he had to sell off all his shares extra-early. This cost him more money than you or I will ever see in our lives, and he wanted it back.
Garriott de Cayeux had been at NCSoft making the ill-fated (because it wasn’t very good) Tabula Rasa, before his trip into space. On return in November 2008 he told fans,
“Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space. Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests.”
Which did sound awfully volunteery. But seemingly not. Around six months later, Mr British claimed that he’d been forced out of the company, and that the MMO giant had “re-characterised” the nature of his leaving. The apparent reason: if he left of his own volition, his shares would have to be sold almost straight away, rather than nearly three years later. Something he said cost him all that money he sued for. 27 million dollars, in fact.
He won, but NCSoft protested, and it went to the 5th Space Circuit Court of Appeals, who have just upheld the judgment, adding on a bonus $4m because of his lovely beard. And costs.
So multimillionaire Richard Garriott de Cayeux now has another $32m. Meanwhile, the people of Burundi live on $82 per year.