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Lawsuit Against Gary Gygax’s Widow Resolved

The name Gary Gygax will always be remembered by nerds all around the world. Widely considered the “Father of role-playing games” for co-creating Dungeons & Dragons, Gygax passed away in 2008 and ever since then, his widow Gail Gygax has been working hard to preserve his legacy.

Gail Gygax

Gail Gygax. Photo from Kotaku.

In 2016, Transformers producer Tom DeSanto struck a deal with the estate of Gary Gygax to oversee the Gygax catalog of published and unpublished work. Last year, DeSanto sued Gail for a breach of contract, claiming that she decided to negotiate a video game deal without him. Kotaku reports that the US$30 million lawsuit has now been dismissed.

“Unfortunately, my lawyers and I have discovered troubling facts about the Estate which prevented me from executing my plans for the Estate. The dismissal was without prejudice and the interest in the Estate I negotiated for is still on the record. I remain and will always be a great admirer of Gary Gygax and mindful of his legacy as an icon in the gaming world.”

– Tom DeSanto, speaking to Kotaku.

Back when DeSanto first sued Gail, he claimed that she didn’t have the rights to Gary Gygax’s IP to the extent that she claimed. Defending herself, Gail said that she never meant to give DeSanto rights to Gary’s entire library.

“I always believed Tom was using the lawsuit as a tool to extend or change the terms of his contract. I’m glad it’s over. Its time for everyone to move forward. That’s what Gary would have wanted.”

– Gail Gygax, when contacted by Kotaku.

As someone who also admires and appreciates what Gary Gygax brought into the world, I’m also glad to see this problem resolved. It’s unfortunate enough that Gygax’s legacy had already caused disagreements between his wife and children. May you rest in piece, Mr. Gygax.

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