Chances are good some of you reading this play Candy Crush Saga, the mobile game apparently as addictive as actual candy. I have not indulged personally, but I can understand the appeal. I’m a big believer in the idea that games with bright colors and simple goals will always have a place in gaming.
But King.com, the company behind Candy Crush Saga,has gotten itself into the news recently. You might have heard about it, but, if you haven’t, here’s the gist of it: King.com has taken out a trademark for the words “Candy Crush Saga.” They don’t have an ironclad hold on the trademark yet, but they are already exercising their authority. Exaggerated reports might have you believe that nothing with the word “Candy” in it is safe.
Obviously that’s not true. It’s not so much the fact that King is beginning to use their trademark which seems unpleasant. It’s the fact that some of the people they’ve gone after legally have been . . . underdogs, for lack of a better word.
The first game was Candy Slots, a game which has nothing in common with Crush outside of a single shared word. Another, perhaps even more absurd complaint was lodged against The Banner Saga. The game, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, is an RPG based on Nordic history. To say that it bears no resemblance to Candy Crush Saga would be so obvious that it would be painful.
Here’s the million-dollar question: Do I condemn King for this trademark? Well, not really. See, I presume that the primary reason they’ve done this is because there are a lot of clones of Candy Crush. King has said that the reason it is sending out these complaints is because, if they don’t, then actual rip-offs will have an opening to exploit. “You didn’t go after them, despite the ‘similarities,’ so you have no recourse to come after me,” to put it simply.
One final note: The leg which upon which King stands has quite the fracture. The company has recently admitted that their game Pac-Avoid was a clone of Scamperghost. There has been a pretty informative back-and-forth between that company and the developer that they blamed for the incident. In short, the company who claims the right to keep others from cloning their game has admitted to cloning a game. I’m not a lawyer, but I think there has to be a decent legal defense in that.