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[Update] Indie developer alleges that King 'copied' his flash game back in 2009

... and King responds

Product: King news | Manufacturer: King
 
King news iPad, thumbnail 1
Updated at 10:46pm GMT - A representative contacted us on behalf of King in response to this story. His comments, and the original article, follow

"King does not clone other peoples' games. King believes that IP - both our own IP and that of others - is important and should be properly protected.

Like any prudent company, we take all appropriate steps to protect our IP in a sensible and fair way. At the same time, we are respectful of the rights and IP of other developers. Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP.

However, for the avoidance of doubt, in this case, this game - which was coded by a third party developer 5 years ago - has been taken down."




You might remember at the start of the week we mentioned some legal kerfuffle going on between King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, and Stoic Studio, the dev behind The Banner Saga.

The problem arose from Stoic's use of the term 'Saga', which King has trademarked. You can read more about it in the original article here.

There are some pretty complex legal matters behind all of this, but it's fair to say that a lot of people looked on it as King throwing its weight around.

But a lot of other stories have bubbled up since the lawsuit became public, including an interesting one posted by an indie dev who is alleging that King 'copied' his game in 2009.

I made this

You can read the full allegation here, but the story boils down to this - Matt Cox was in negotiations with King about a game called Scamperghost appearing on King.com.

Before anything was signed, Cox got a better offer elsewhere, thanked King for the interest and moved on.

Then King paid someone else to copy the game in an attempt to release it before Cox could.

Legal eagles

A series of emails posted on Cox's site show conversations with King and with the developer of the apparent clone, called Pac-Avoid (I'm not even getting in to irony of the 'Pac' thing).

While the emails from King suggest Pac-Avoid was already in the works before Scamperghost was taken elsewhere, the dev of Pac-Avoid, Epicshadow tells a different story.

Apparently King emailed to say that Cox and the rest of the Scamperghost team had signed a contract with King, backed out when offered better money, and left the publisher in the lurch.

It then, allegedly, asked Epicshadow to turn a version of the game around in a week to get it out before Scamperghost.

First contact

There are no direct emails from King to Epicshadow in the original story, just an email from Epicshadow's Matt Porter, explaining his side of the story.

We've reached out to King for comment, but as of now it's not replied. As soon as it does we'll update the story.
 

Reviewer photo
Harry Slater 24 January 2014
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Joined:
Dec 2012
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John Evans | 01:29 - 28 January 2014
King are thieves even trying to cash in on PopCaps success with copying Peggle with King's version Papa Pear Saga. King produces crap versions anyway.
 
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