Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Games Your Rights Online

'CandySwipe' Crushed: When Game Development Turns Nasty 251

Posted by timothy
from the trying-to-take-ransom-for-ransom dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "King, the gaming developer behind the monster hit Candy Crush Saga, has attracted a fair amount of criticism over the past few weeks over its attempt to trademark the word 'candy,' which isn't exactly an uncommon term. The company followed up that trademarking attempt by firing off takedown notices at other developers who use 'candy' in the titles of their apps. But things only got emotional in the past few days, when indie developer Albert Ransom published an open letter on his Website that excoriates King for what basically amounts to bullying. Ransom claims that he published CandySwipe in 2010, a full two years before Candy Crush Saga hit the market, and that the two games bear a number of similarities; after opposing King's attempts to register a trademark, Ransom found that his rival had taken things to a whole new level by purchasing the rights to a game called Candy Crusher and using that as leverage to cancel the CandySwipe trademark. Ransom claims he spent three years working on his game, and that King is basically robbing his livelihood. King was not effusive in its response. 'I would direct you to our stance on intellectual property,' a spokesperson for the company wrote in an email to Slashdot, which included a link to a letter posted online by King CEO Riccardo Zacconi. 'At this time, we do not have any comment to add beyond what is outlined in this letter.' Zacconi's various defenses in the letter seem a moot point in the context of CandySwipe, considering how Ransom has already abandoned the prospect of fighting to protect his intellectual property. But the two developers' letters help illustrate how downright nasty the casual-gaming industry has become over the past several quarters, as profits skyrocket and people attempt to capitalize on others' success."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

'CandySwipe' Crushed: When Game Development Turns Nasty

Comments Filter:
  • Tango DropBox (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:36PM (#46239785)

    http://tangodropbox.com

    DropBox trampled all over them; so they gave up.

    • by D'Sphitz (699604)

      http://tangodropbox.com - DropBox trampled all over them; so they gave up.

      Where can I read about this? Googling "tango dropbox" trademark [google.com] doesn't return anything relevant, maybe some bad pub DMCA scrubbing going on?

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:41PM (#46239821) Homepage Journal

    Someone should write a game about Thieves, Lawyers and Thieving Lawyers.

    and the stupid people who love them

  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:42PM (#46239829)

    I'd like to see a real candy company sue King for using the word "candy".

    Hell, even funnier would be a real King suing him for misuse of the title "King" by a non-royalty.

    • Usually trade marks are by business area. So a just as a candy company couldn't sue a software company...unless that candy company also made software.
      IANAL, that is the simplified version.

    • by stox (131684)

      I think the owners of the film should sue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      BTW, wild flick.

    • quoting an ac posting above "First doesn't mean you get the trademark, the one with the most lawyers gets it."

      so Disney, who I believe has enough money and lawyers could sue King out of existence because in the movie Wreck It Ralph, there is a character by the name of King Candy.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I'd like to see a real candy company sue King for using the word "candy".

      Hell, even funnier would be a real King suing him for misuse of the title "King" by a non-royalty.

      What would be even better is the estate of Elvis Presley suing King for using the name "King".

      Almost as funny as the representative of the office of Caesar suing everyone who ever used the word King, Tzar, Kaiser or any of the other derivatives.

  • Rate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WPIDalamar (122110) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:42PM (#46239843) Homepage

    Just rated several of king's games 1-star, no idea if that helps, but made me feel better.

  • Or (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pope (17780) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @02:56PM (#46239983)

    you could just go back to playing Bejeweled for free.

  • Goldmine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:08PM (#46240089)

    Candy Crush has made a TON of money.

    Since there's another developer with a similar product and a similar name that shipped well before, you think he would have no end of lawyers offering up services just for a cut of the juicy Candy Mountain they can take a big chunk from.

    If one side is going to play the legal angle then have no qualms about doing the same.

    • Isn't being a legal troll a full time job? It's quite lucrative if you have a team of lawyers to back it up, but "Hey, I'll take you to court as soon as I find a lawyer who accepts my credit card" will probably be laughed off more than this letter (IANAL though.)
      • What I'm saying is he should not even need to pay, there should be lawyers willing to work for a cut of the very likely payment the giant company will make just to get the lawsuit off their backs.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      If one side is going to play the legal angle then have no qualms about doing the same.

      Kind of hard to do when one side is earning more money per day than the other side has earnt in its existence.

  • by Tanman (90298) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:10PM (#46240103)

    One of life's great mysteries is how achieving wealth tends to make people more greedy. For example, studies have shown that, as a percentage of income, charitable giving tends to be inversely proportional to income. Here you have a company that has found tremendous success, and in response to that success they become more greedy and try to shut everyone down.

    I think human nature is not to just want success. Human nature is to want to win and stomp on the corpses of your competition.

    • by elrous0 (869638) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:19PM (#46240165)

      No, it's just an indication that the biggest and most ruthless pricks are the most likely to get, and stay, rich.

    • One of life's great mysteries is how achieving wealth tends to make people more greedy. For example, studies have shown that, as a percentage of income, charitable giving tends to be inversely proportional to income. Here you have a company that has found tremendous success, and in response to that success they become more greedy and try to shut everyone down.

      I think human nature is not to just want success. Human nature is to want to win and stomp on the corpses of your competition.

      It's not a mystery at all. The system is set up in such a way that companies are forced to defend their trademarks. If they don't, they lose them. In addition, people with more are going to go to greater lengths to ensure that they don't lose what they have. Some companies are much more aggressive than others and some resort to what should be categorized as extortion. But, it's not going to change unless we find a way to change the system.

      As for charity, you have to go back to the old saying: "lies, d

      • by Tanman (90298)

        When comparing how much people give for charity, percentage is all that matters. If someone makes $50k/yr and gives $5k/yr to charity, and someone else makes $5,000,000/yr and gives $20k to charity, do you really consider them to be more generous since they gave FOUR TIMES the amount? No, they are less generous. They would be giving 0.4% of their salary vs. 10.0%. The impact on their lives would be non-existent. The point of charitable giving is that you are giving up something for other people -- you

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        It's not a mystery at all. The system is set up in such a way that companies are forced to defend their trademarks. If they don't, they lose them.

        That's not true. Yes, they have to "defend" them, but the implications of your statement is the opposite of reality.

        They could "defend" them by sending a letter asking the recipient to apply for a no-cost license granting commercial use of the trademark. If everyone using your trademark is registered to do so at a zero-rate, you have successfully defended it. There is no requirement to stop anyone from using it. Ever. And the way you are stating it is implying the "must stop others" reading, which is

    • by XPhiNermal (91739)

      Which studies are these?

      This New York Times blog from 2011 clearly shows the opposite: Americans in higher income brackets give away a larger percentage of their income to charities than those in lower income brackets.

      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/which-americans-are-most-generous-and-to-whom/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 [nytimes.com]

  • by spiritplumber (1944222) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:29PM (#46240243)
    and their Cellbots project -- I scooped them by around six months, and even offer to share my code with them. What I got was a project manager telling me that I was just a hobbyist and my product didn't exist. What he got was me giving him one of my PCBs to him, then closing his hand around it, and asking him if this doesn't exist why is it causing you pain? When they started giving out the Google ADK board at Maker Faire 2011, I made the rounds to give my board to people half an hour before... including to the Google guys. If anyone was at the Bay Area Maker Faire, they probably will remember how the Robots Everywhere Antbot worked, and the Google Cellbot sat there victim of wifi overload. If something's bigger than you, and you want to win, bite the shins and punch the nuts. Only way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:57PM (#46240413)

    Betas are told that everything happens by accident, and criminals are only really found amongst the working classes. The reality is very different.

    When casual gaming was discovered to be the new growth area for gaming, very serious criminals took interest in the market, and became their MOBSTER-IDENTICAL methods to gain control of the action.

    Their experts noted that most casual games (at the time) were 'published' (to use the word very lightly) by individuals and tiny companies with no real clout. So, the experts advised the criminal thugs to simply STEAL the current games considered to have the best prospects. Steal the design. Steal the assets. Hell, even steal the code if possible.

    The experts advising the criminal thugs argued thus. Focus on getting as rich as possible, as quickly as possible, by turning the 'amateur hour' of casual gaming into something as big as organised gambling or AAA console game publishing. "Use your lawyers to threaten the people you steal from, and then, if needed, to delay court action by as many years as possible."

    "In the meantime, use your gigantic profits to buy off most of the people you steal from. After all, they were making pennies from their work, whereas you, using their stolen games, will be making so much money, a tiny fraction of your income will seem like an astonishing windfall to the people you may have to eventually pay-off. "

    Now the criminal thugs have long since established themselves, and have the income to place politicians, computer companies and law enforcement into their pockets. America was built on such corporate criminality. America LOVES profit, not whining by little guys who never really made much money, but whose ideas and work had so much potential when illegally transferred to ruthless crooks.

    The legal system, especially the civil side, is designed to reward successful criminality, so long as such criminality spreads the wealth to the 'RIGHT' people. Gaining general possession of the word 'Candy' was a simple consequence of money well spent. No legality, no justice, no morality- just money placed into the pockets of the 'right' people.

    But the thugs at the top of casual gaming publishing are pikers compared to the people that run Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple etc. Look what Microsoft intended to do with the Xbox One, before a massive backlash forced Microsoft to reverse every one of its obscene plans. Look at how Intel is PAYING companies to use its new Baytrail CPU, and PAYING legions of vile shills working for reputation management agencies to flood forums like this with the message that Intel's criminality is 'legal' and 'reasonable' (and this in the face of knowledge about how many times Intel has been successfully prosecuted in court).

    Only petty criminals get punished. The big boys are always an essential part of the 'elite' that rule over you. Go read some history, if you are foolish enough not to believe this.

  • Who knew... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @04:00PM (#46240439)

    Candy Crush Saga isn't just the title of their game, it's a description of their business.

  • For Valentine's Day, my new line of Crushed Candy Cock Rings!

  • and quickly became annoyed, and eventually uninstalled it. The first annoyance was that it was shilling for money, but the deal breaker was that it wanted me to sign up for facebook so it could spam other people to play the (*&(& game. It was easier to uninstall the game.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!

Working...