King CEO: "We Should Never Have Published" Indie Clone

King's CEO apologizes for having published the clone of Stolen Goose's Scamperghost

News by Mike Williams, .

Last week, online publisher King came under intense internet scrutiny for seeking a trademark on the word "Candy", opposing Stoic Studios' "The Banner Saga" trademark, and allegedly cloning indie online game Scamperghost. Today, King CEO and co-founder Riccardo Zacconi responded to all three issues in an open letter on the company's official webpage.

On the alleged cloning of Scamperghost, Zacconi apologized directly and stated that the clone, Pac-Avoid, has been removed from King's RoyalGames website.

"The details of the situation are complex, but the bottom line is that we should never have published Pac-Avoid. We have taken the game down from our site, and we apologize for having published it in the first place," wrote Zacconi. "This unfortunate situation is an exception to the rule. King does not clone games, and we do not want anyone cloning our games."

"Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace and review relevant trademark filings to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else's IP. We have launched hundreds of games. Occasionally, we get things wrong. When we do, we take appropriate action."

On the "Candy" trademark and the opposition to Stoic's "The Banner Saga" trademark, Zacconi re-iterated that the company was merely doing its due diligence to protect its games. He also noted that other companies own trademarks on single words, including "Time", "Money", "Fortune", "Apple", and "Sun".

"To protect our IP, last year we acquired the trademark in the EU for 'Candy' from a company that was in bankruptcy – and we have filed for a similar trademark in the U.S. We are not trying to control the world's use of the word 'Candy;' having a trade mark doesn't allow us to do that anyway. We're just trying to prevent others from creating games that unfairly capitalize on our success."

Zacconi says that King does not believe that Banner Saga resembles any of its games, but notes that many of its Saga games "have already faced substantive trademark and copyright issues with clones."

"We're not trying to stop Stoic from using the word Saga but we had to oppose their application to preserve our own ability to protect our own games," he added. "Otherwise, it would be much easier for future copycats to argue that use of the word "Saga" when related to games, was fair play."

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Comments 11

  • Avatar for Ohoni #1 Ohoni 4 years ago
    . . .
    But the use of "saga," when related to games, IS fair play. What part of that does he not get?Edited January 2014 by Ohoni
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #2 Funny_Colour_Blue 4 years ago
    I think the real question here is...Is he King CEO? or the King of all CEOs?

    ...It really is quite confusing.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #3 jeremy.parish 4 years ago
    All things being equal, I do at least respect the fact that he didn't issue a passive-voice non-apology.
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  • Avatar for Frosty840 #4 Frosty840 4 years ago
    @Ohoni Exactly. The legality around this is all complete nonsense. King seem to want to trademark "Saga", and not enforce a trademark on "Saga", while still being able to protect their trademark on "Saga". It's half-understood legalese gibberish that's profiting, as is often the case, nobody but a few half-interested lawyers.

    King should just face up to the fact that they stupidly chose a generic, untrademarkable name to brand all of their games with.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #5 Thusian 4 years ago
    @Funny_Colour_Blue To be the King of all CEOs you would need to refer to him as the CEO King. Its like how Being the Sofa King makes you the king of all Sofas.
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  • Avatar for docexe #6 docexe 4 years ago
    @Frosty840 King is not really innocent in any of these issues, but from what I understand, the major problem here is that trademark laws and legislation are a really big mess.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #7 SargeSmash 4 years ago
    Jim Sterling has a video over at The Escapist that addresses some of the silliness here. Within that legal framework, what the CEO said makes perfect sense.

    Not that I like it, of course. But I understand it.
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  • Avatar for inkphantom #8 inkphantom 4 years ago
    "King does not clone games, and we do not want anyone cloning our games."
    Yeah...I guess re-packaging isn't the same as cloning. It's cool to completely rip off whole games (Bejeweled, Bust-A-Move, Peggle), just don't use the idiotic naming conventions King "invented". Parasites.
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  • Avatar for yasser-90 #9 yasser-90 A year ago
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  • Avatar for yasser-90 #10 yasser-90 A year ago
    كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض | الشرق الأوسط
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  • Avatar for ekhwaaksa #11 ekhwaaksa A year ago
    كشف تسربات المياه بدون تكسير اصلاح فورى مع الضمان
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