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Atari removing arcade-inspired iOS games, claims dev

App Store titles with even a 'passing resemblance' at risk

Atari has threatened legal action against iOS developers behind games resembling anything from its back catalogue of arcade titles.


According to 'Vector Tanks 3' developer Black Powder Media, "Anything that has even a passing resemblance to an Atari classic has been issued a copyright infringement claim".

It goes on to say Atari's "special relationship" with Apple has allowed it to pursue devs and have games removed with very little resistance

"So - thanks to their special relationship with Apple - Atari has successfully scrubbed the app store of their perceived competition. It looks as though Apple complied without so much as a rebuttal or independent evaluation," the statement continues.

Vector Tanks 3 bares resemblance to Atari's Battlezone which has resulted in the legal threats.

Speaking to VentureBeat, Peter Hirschberg, the game's programmer, said he made attempts to license the IP, but was unable to reach the Atari.

"The cruel irony here is that I tried for years to get ahold of Atari to license their IP but they seemed to have fallen off the planet. Now this. It's very depressing."

Black Powder Media has removed Vector Tanks and Vector Tanks Extreme from the app store and intends to alter Vector Tanks 3 to distance itself from Atari's game. It's likely that a substantial number of other iOS developers will do the same to avoid litigation.