The executive director of King responded in detail to all the claims made last week to the British company.

The main scandal of last week is the legal history with King. For a few days, the British company became in the eyes of many game developers – a real evil empire, a symbol of unscrupulousness. Wanting to mitigate the current situation, the executive director of King Riccardo Zacconi (Riccardo Zacconi) addressed the gaming community. We decided to bring his letter in its entirety.

Riccardo Zacconi
“In recent days, both in King itself and beyond, fierce debates have erupted around how we can protect our intellectual property.

The discussion mainly revolved around three points:

  • Our decision to acquire a trademark for the word Candy in Europe and plans to acquire a similar one in the USA;
  • Our conflict with the game publisher Stoic about Banner Saga;
  • Charges from five years ago related to the fact that King cloned an existing game from another developer.

I want to honestly share our opinion on these issues and clarify our philosophy regarding intellectual property issues.

Let’s start with a simple one: our policy is to protect our own IP and respect the IP of others.

We believe in the well–being of the game development community and believe that good developers – both small and large – have the right to what they have worked hard on, and to the games they have created.

Like any responsible company, we take the necessary steps to protect our own IP, including how our projects and trademarks look and make an impression. Our tasks are simple: to make sure that the work of our employees has not been copied anywhere, and our brands have remained intact.

Comparison of Pac-Avoid and ScamperGhost
So let’s start with cloning.

An active discussion unfolded around Pac-Avoid, a game developed by a third-party studio for us about five years ago. The game was very much like another project – ScamperGhost. The situation, in general, is complicated, but if we draw a line, then King should not have published Pac-Avoid. We have removed the game from our website and apologize for the fact that it was published.

I want to be understood: this ugly case is an exception to the rule. King does not clone games and we do not want anyone to clone our projects.

Before launching any game, we carefully study other games on the market and review similar trademarks in spirit to make sure that we do not encroach on someone else’s IP. We have released several hundred games. Sometimes we made mistakes. But when we commit them, we try to do the right thing.

As for trademarks, as well as the use of the words Candy and Saga in the casual industry.

Let’s start with the fact that Candy Crush Saga has become one of the most successful games in the history of the casual industry. Millions of people play it every day. And there is nothing surprising in the fact that some developers see an opportunity to play on the popularity of our project and publish a project with a consonant name and similar graphics. We believe that we have the right to protect ourselves from such imitations.

Candy Crush Saga is not just games anymore
To protect our IP, we acquired the Candy trademark in Europe from a company that was on the verge of bankruptcy and applied for a similar brand in the USA.

Because of this, we were greatly disliked, but the truth is that there is nothing supernatural in registering a common word for use for certain purposes. Think of words like Time, Money, Fortune, Apple, Sun. This is only a small fraction of the already registered words. We are not trying to control the use of the word Candy, especially since the ownership of the trademark does not allow us to do this. We just want to scare people away from creating games that dishonestly earn on our success.

The conflict with Stoic is a separate story. In fact, we are against Stoic’s intention to register the Banner Saga trademark. We don’t think Banner Saga bears any resemblance to our games, but we already have a series of games in which Saga is the key brand word with which players associate products from King (Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and so on). All the mentioned titles have already faced such a problem as cloning.

We are not trying to prohibit Stoic from using the word Saga, but we have to object to their treatment in order to preserve the opportunity to defend their own games. Otherwise, it will be much easier for future imitators to defend the right to use the word Saga.

We believe that discussion and debate around these issues is good. We welcome comments about everything we do inside and outside the company. We regularly discuss and review our approach to cases and will continue to do so in the future. The most important thing is that if someone is dissatisfied with the way we implement our policy, we always try to consider the complaint as quickly as possible and, if possible, fairly.

Thank you for the time you spent on what I had to say. Personally, I try to read everything I can find on this topic, so if you want to contact me directly about this or any other – do not hesitate to write to this address “.

A source:

Editor’s note: it will be possible to meet personally with King representatives at the upcoming Winter Nights: Mobile Games, which will take place on February 7-8.