Game Development

This is why I’m Afraid of Making Indie Games

If you haven’t heard the news, Bethesda is complaining about the name of a card game from the makers of Minecraft, Scrolls. Even worse, they are sending in the lawyers.

I like to work on indie game projects. The first that I released was BlokPanic, on the App Store. I have other game ideas, but I am always worried. It has become common practice for game developers to sue each other. I was going to post some links, but I was overwhelmed by the number of cases I could find on the Internet.

As I understand it, to get sued because of similarities to another game, the similarities must be such that a consumer might get confused between the two products. In the case of Scrolls, this might be complicated. However, the definition is vague enough that lawyers don’t need to aim that carefully when firing lawsuits. And how can a part-time Canadian indie game developer defend himself from a lawsuit in the states?

I have said it before and I will say it again, lawsuit stifles creativity. There are cases when law suites are needed. However, using law suites to bludgeon competition is unethical and immoral.

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About Alex Denault

Veteran software developer / sysadmin and holds a PhD in Computer Science. Avid computer enthusiast (geek) who has been dabbling with technology ever since his Dad brought home an 8086 computer.
  • Canada
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