[Update: Clone Removed] Developers Say Candy Crush Saga Creators King.com Stole Their Game
Posted on Saturday, January 25 @ 14:45:00 PST by Daniel Bischoff
As pressure continues to mount against King.com, the publisher and hopeful trademark owner of Candy, Crush, and Saga has removed the Pac-Avoid game after developers behind Scamperghost alleged that King stole their game.
Polygon heard from King.com on the subject:
Searching trademark filings and the marketplace sounds about right. King.com would have had to search the marketplace to find Scamperghost in the first place. They would have also had to search trademark filings to find out how much of Pac-Man they could rip off for their game's title.
[Original]: While King.com continues to lay claim to words as wholesome and God-given as "candy" another developer says that the creators of Candy Crush Saga stole their game concept several years ago even after making an offer to buy the game.
Junkyard Sam and Nick Bray created Scamperghost and entered into negotiations with King.com in 2009. When negotiations ended after the developers got a better deal elsewhere, King.com made a direct clone of the game called Pac-Avoid.
The two games feature similar menus, gameplay, controls, and even a similar high-score screen. You can see a sample screenshot above. Junkyard Sam has several other comparison screens on his website.
Junkyard Sam states that he and his partner were in direct talks with Lars Jörnow of King.com to license Scamperghost but that the company eventually "retaliated against us (two young indie devs) by quickly making a direct clone of our game and almost released it before us!"
When IndieGamer.com forum members took up the cause, Lars once again contacted the creators of Scamperghost saying
Jörnow informed Sam and Bray that they found a different game to sponsor, but when the developers behind the original game tracked down the creator of the King.com ripoff, they found that King.com had found another developer expressly to clone Scamperghost.
An e-mail from a developer at Epic Shadow states that King.com informed them of a broken contract for Scamperghost. Junkyard Sam says that no contract was ever signed, but he also admits that the title in question isn't entirely original.
"It's obviously inspired by Pac-Man," Sam writes. "King.com, however, showed no respect for other people's intellectual property when they made a direct, blatant clone of Scamperghost. Now they've trademarked "Candy" and are using their massive legal power against other small competing developers."
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