King: We do not clone other people's games
By Brendan Sinclair
Fri 24 Jan 2014 7:49pm GMT / 2:49pm EST / 11:49am PST
Candy Crush company denies accusations but removes game in question "for the avoidance of doubt"
King has removed the game Pac-Avoid from its website after a developer accused the Candy Crush Saga company of basing it off his own game, Scamperghost.
"King does not clone other peoples' games," the publisher said in a statement. "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."
The cloning accusation was just the latest in a series of IP controversies for King this week. First came news of the company's recently filed EU trademark on the word "candy," a trademark it was enforcing against the developer of Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land. The publisher said it would not be enforcing its trademark against all uses of the word, just those it felt were infringing on its rights or in danger of confusing players.
Shortly after that news broke, King challenged a trademark filing by developer Stoic for the name of its debut game, The Banner Saga. In its challenge filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, King alleged that The Banner Saga was "confusingly and deceptively similar" to King's own use of Saga in its games. Following some outcry over that decision, King released a statement saying it was not trying to stop Stoic from using the Banner Saga name, but had to file a challenge or else it would have been easier for other companies to make illegitimate use of the word.
"This is an important issue for King because we already have a series of games where 'Saga' is key to the brand which our players associate with a King game; Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and so on," a representative said. "All of these titles have already faced substantive trademark and copyright issues with clones."
So What is King's Contribution to the Games Industry, Anyway?
With King in the news over its ongoing trademark disputes, we take a look at its five most popular games so you don't have to.
By Pete Davison.
King's been in the news a lot recently, largely due to its attempts to claim ownership over the "Candy" trademark and, subsequently, accusations of cloning.
Prior to this, if you're not big into the world of free-to-play social and mobile games, you may have only had a passing familiarity with King through mentions of Candy Crush Saga -- or, indeed, the advertising for said game that's been plastered everywhere. And yet King is one of the biggest names in free-to-play social gaming right now -- Candy Crush Saga alone attracts over 150 million players every month as the top-ranked game on Facebook, and its other titles also ride high in the charts.
So who are King, why should we care about them, and exactly what have they given to the games industry as a whole? Well, before we get on to their top five games, it's important to at least acknowledge one thing: like their precursor Zynga, King has done a lot to make the concept of video games an accessible and desirable pastime for a much broader spectrum of people, including those who would never consider purchasing a piece of dedicated gaming hardware. King's games aren't "by gamers, for gamers" as the old cliché goes; they're by business people, for everyone -- and the sheer number of people playing each of their games seems to suggest that they're doing something "right," at least from a business perspective.
More importantly from our perspective, though, are their games actually any good? I played their five most popular titles (as ranked by metrics service AppData) so you don't have to. And... well, read on.