Charismatic game developer Richard Garriott, known as “Lord British” to his legions of fans, won a $28 million judgment against former employer NCsoft on July 29, 2010. According to the Austin-American Statesman, a federal court jury in Austin, Texas, took Garriott’s side in a dispute over how he left the company.
The facts of the case sound like something out of a video game. NCsoft said the Garriott left the company voluntarily in 2008, giving him a limited amount of time to sell off options for more than 400,000 shares of NCsoft stock. Garriott said NCsoft fired him while he was quarantined in Russia after taking a $20 million trip to the International Space Station.
Garriott’s contract allowed him 10 years to sell the stock if he were fired, so he could sell it off at a time when it would be most profitable. Garriott argued by forcing him to sell the stock during a depressed economy, NCsoft cost him millions of dollars. The federal court jury agreed, but didn’t award Lord British the full $47 million he was seeking. To be fair, he originally was suing for $27 million, according to GamePolitics. So a $28 million judgment is appropriate.