Ed Annunziata has settled a lawsuit with video game publisher Sega over the ownership of the Ecco the Dolphin series. That’s an interesting development that could pave the way for the rebirth of the franchise, which Sega brought to its game consoles starting in 1992.

Ed Annunziata

Above: Ed Annunziata

Image Credit: Ed Annunziata

Annunziata filed the lawsuit a few years ago after he created a Kickstarter campaign for a game called The Big Blue. Since he didn’t have the rights to the Ecco the Dolphin name, Annunziata tried to create a spiritual successor in 2013 with Spencer Nilsen, another creator, through a startup called Playchemy. The game would have been a next-generation undersea adventure.

The Kickstarter campaign for The Big Blue failed to hit its ambitious fundraising target of $665,000, and the project seemed to die after that. But we now know that Annunziata didn’t give up. Rather, he filed a lawsuit against Sega to get the rights back.

Neither Sega nor Annunziata are willing to comment on the case.

Ecco the Dolphin has become a classic with a big following, and it has been republished on downloadable platforms, bringing the title to new audiences. But there are a few competing ocean simulators out there now, such as theBlu, an undersea virtual reality adventure from Wevr that’s on Steam.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member