Spry Fox suing 6waves Lolapps over copyright infringement
Seattle-based Spry Fox has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against publisher 6waves Lolapps, for copying Triple Town in its snow-themed Yeti Town.
In a blog post detailing the decision, co-founder of Spry Fox David Edery stated that 6waves Lolapps' title was a "blatant copy of Triple Town."
"This was a difficult decision for Danc [Daniel Cook] and I," Edery wrote.
"We are not enthusiastic about the prospect of spending our time in court as opposed to making games. And in general, we believe that only in the most extreme circumstances should a video game developer resort to legal action in order to defend their creative works - the last thing our industry needs is frivolous lawsuits.
"Unfortunately, it is our opinion that 6waves has behaved in a reprehensible and illegal manner, and we can not, in good conscience, ignore it."
Edery went on to outline that Yeti Town was more than just inspired by Triple Town.
"We're talking about tons of little details, from the language in the tutorial, to many of our (user interface) elements, to the quantities and prices of every single item in the store (how exactly did 6waves "independently" decide to price 200 turns for 950 coins, or 4 wildcards for 1500 coins each? That's quite a coincidence!)."
Pump it up
Potently, Edery also points out that 6waves Lolapps had early access to the game, while the two companies were in negotiations. Edery believes this was a front on which 6waves could 'pump' them for private information.
"We believe that there is nothing "natural" or ethical or legal about 6waves behaviour," Edery concludes.
"What they did was wrong. And if they get away with it, it will simply encourage more publishers to prey on independent game developers like us. We refuse to sit back and let that happen."
6waves Lolapps has taken a stand, issuing the following statement in its defence.
"Lolapps is disappointed that David Edery has chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes his claims are factually inaccurate," read the statement.
"We respect others IP and did nothing to violate any contracts our team had in place. The copyright infringement claims are unjustified."
These comments seem less convincing when read next to Dan Laughlin of 6waves Lolapps' Facebook comments, included in the formal documentation provided by Spry Fox.
"I need to back out of any further discussions on Triple Town," Laughlin posted.
"We've just published a game on iOS that you're not going to like given its similar match-3 style. Wish this wasn't happening, but it is, and there wasn't anything I could do about it, despite my attempts."
Triple Town, which began life as a Facebook game, recently made the move to iOS.
You can view the formal documentation of Spry Fox's complaint here.
[source: Game Tycoon, VentureBeat]