Not that people who have been following the news about Candy Crush Saga maker King trademarking "Candy" and causing issues over The Banner Saga's use of the word "Saga" in its title need any more fuel for the fire, but here goes: developer Matthew Cox has accused the company of cloning a browser-based game he worked on called Scamperghost.
His team was in talks with King to license this game but "before the deal was closed (and certainly before any contracts were signed) MaxGames.com made a better offer so we thanked King for considering our game and politely ended our negotiations." As a result, King sponsored "a similar game," in the words of their contact Lars Jörnow, titled Pac-Avoid (really).
Allegedly, the team working on Pac-Avoid was told to "clone the game very quickly, and [King] even wanted to beat the release of the original game." This comes directly from an email correspondence with one of the developers contracted by the company, according to Cox.
"Scamperghost isn't the most original game in the world," wrote Cox. "It's obviously inspired by Pac-Man but we at least took it in an original direction by making it a mouse avoider with no walls. King.com, however, showed no respect for other people's intellectual property when they made a direct, blatant clone of Scamperghost. Now they've trademarked "Candy" and are using their massive legal power against other small competing developers. A bit of a double-standard, eh?"
King.com, makers of Candy Crush Saga...Trademark Trolls with a Double Standard?[Junkyard Sam -- Thanks, OpiumHerz]
Here's the side-by-side comparison: